An Association’s Board of Directors is responsible for, amongst a multitude of other tasks, taking appropriate actions and/or making decisions based on issues that arise within the community. Some common examples may be: water intrusion that causes damage to a unit, units, and/or common area; an architectural request submitted for review and approval by an owner; or a rules violation complaint filed by one owner against another. If you have ever been involved with such an issue, you know that often the Association’s governing documents allow for a “reasonable time” in which the Board must take action and/or make a decision. However, the Association’s Board of Directors is comprised of a group of volunteers, and, as such, their interpretation of “reasonable time” may differ significantly from that of an aggrieved homeowner or unit owner. So, how much time is considered “reasonable time” and how do you get your Association to act?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “reasonable” as: “not extreme or excessive; moderate, fair.” In addition to this definition, it is important to consider any other factors that may delay the Association’s actions (i.e. if such action requires hiring a contractor, there may be labor shortages, supply chain issues, or other factors related to the current state of world events (think pandemic or war)). Considering all of these factors, an Association is provided with a lot of wiggle room when it comes to the interpretation of “reasonable time.” However, if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself questioning whether your Association has exhausted its “reasonable time” to take action and/or make a decision, do not let up. Appropriate self-advocacy will be your best asset in handling push-back from your Association. If you don’t make progress on your own, hire an attorney.
At Brandt Law Group we will dig into the ambiguity that the term “reasonable time” can create for your specific matter. We are experts at communicating with Associations, unit owners, and third parties when necessary to push these types of disputes along and reach a resolution.