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relationships fail between the board and management is because the roles and duties of the board and management company are not clearly defined.

Board members do not buy into a common interest community so they can have the opportunity to serve on the board. Serving on the board is probably the last activity to which a new owner aspires when at their closing. The new owner may eventually join the board, but usually it is because he or she is really upset about something or someone. Most people probably don’t even refer to the function as “serving on the board,” but rather think of it as holding the power in the association!

When an owner joins the board, he often has little knowledge regarding the duties and responsibilities of a board member. He joined because he was upset about something and wanted change; now he finds himself a director in a legal corporation, responsible for potentially millions of dollars of assets, and owing a duty to all of the other homeowners who reside there.

Very few new board members know that the Illinois Condominium Act and the Common Interest Community Association Act supersede their governing documents. They often do not know what a limited common element is, and what a reserve fund is, let alone the proper method of funding it. Because managing a common interest community is complicated and specialized, most boards hire a management company to run the business affairs of the association.

There are two basic kinds of boards: a working board and a governing board. A “working board” performs most of the day-to-day operations and makes a majority (if not all) of the decisions relating to the running of the association. A “governing board” allows an individual or company (usually management) to perform the day-to-day operations and functions, and provides direction and instruction to that individual or company.

Here’s where the relationship often starts to run aground.

The board (elected by the owners to govern the association and retain all authority per the governing documents) hires a management company to run its business affairs. What are the duties of the board, and what are the duties of the management company? If these respective roles are not clearly defined, there will be either overlap of responsibilities, or there will be items that fall through the cracks between the board and management company.

Two cooks cannot make an omelet. One prefers adding milk, while the other only uses water. One likes onions; the other, not so much. Conflict is bound to follow. Eventually

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