Sometimes a Board of Directors in a Cooperative can overstep their bounds. Whether it’s from a lack of knowledge of what they can or can’t do or just a lax outlook on adhering to the building’s documents, Boards need to keep their limits in mind when making changes.
Recently, someone posed the question to the Habitat Magazine (http://www.habitatmag.com) forums asking if the Board can change the terms of the Proprietary Lease, to allow for Shareholders to now be responsible for the upkeep and replacement of windows. This was, according to the poster, done without the approval of the Shareholders at large.
The Proprietary Lease usually calls for a supermajority of Shareholders (either 66.6% or 75%, depending on the documents) to approve any changes to the Proprietary Lease or Bylaws. If there wasn’t a special meeting for this purpose or if it was not included on the agenda of the Annual Meeting, then the Board most likely made this change illegally.
We always advise our Boards to follow the law with regards to handling building documents to ensure that the rules and policies set forth are enforceable to the end.