The first step in homeowner association decision making is determining whether the course of action under consideration would be reasonable and in the best interests of all owners. If this question can be answered affirmatively, the next step is to review the governing documents with the following questions in mind:
- Is a particular action or decision required under the governing documents and/or the law?
- Is a particular procedure for making the decision required under the governing documents and/or the law?
- Does the decision under consideration require an owner vote?
Questionable action should be reviewed by an attorney. If the action could have a significant impact on one or more owners, it is wise to get a written opinion of counsel before acting upon which the board can rely in the event of a legal challenge. A legal opinion may protect the board from liability for an erroneous decision by allowing it to assert reasonable reliance on the advice of counsel as a defense. But remember that the failure of an association to follow the advice of counsel or its own internal decision-making procedures will make inappropriate action vulnerable to a legal challenge.