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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118134
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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Our condo development recently elected a Board of Trustees

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Our condo development recently elected a Board of Trustees for the first time in May. Since they have taken over, they have had no communication with the owners. They do not answer emails or phone calls and do not respond to complaints. They were elected fraudulently because the developer hand-picked those he wanted and then voted every lot (built on or undeveloped) to ensure his picks were the winners. In addition, the developer has taken all the money out of the capital acount which was made up of 3 months' condo fees paid by every owner at the passing on their individual units. The Board has no intention of trying to re-coop any of the money, even though there are 10 units left to be sold. Can we petition to overturn the election of the board and do we have any recourse on the money?
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Yes, you can petition to get the election vacated if the developer did not follow the CC&R and the bylaws in the election process. This is done by filing a petition for declaratory judgment in the court and getting the court to order the new elections held and also seeking damages for the money taken out of the accounts.

The attorney is going to have to file the suit if they find that the developer did not follow the bylaws in conducting this election. I am afraid that if the attorney finds that the developer did follow the bylaws and CC&R, you could end up stuck with this board until the next election.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So we have to hire a lawyer to get the election overturned - correct? We are certain the by-laws were not followed because we know the number of votes the developer cast and we know how many of those votes represented incomplete units (either empty lots or frames only). According to the attorney we hired, the developer could only vote completed units that were either for sale or awaiting passing. We also know what the outcome would have been (based on the total votes received by all candidates) if the developer only voted built units.

Are you a Massachusetts attorney?

Thank you for your response.

I am afraid that you have to go to court to have the election overturned and file a declaratory judgment. As you cannot represent all of the members in a legal action, you would need an attorney to represent the members as a whole.

If you are certain the bylaws were not followed, this is grounds to file for your declaratory judgment.

Yes, I am licensed to practice in MA, but the rules of this site forbid me from taking any clients from the customers of this site.
Law Educator, Esq. and 4 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your help. Guess there is no way out of this except to spend more money. I thought if we had a petition signed by 51% of the owners to overturn the election, we could do it ourselves.

Thank you for your response. The problem is that in court, a person cannot represent others pro se, that would be the unauthorized practice of law. Thus, you need an attorney to represent the owners as a group I am afraid.