The other day I was complaining to my Rabbi about something by text. I received an e-mail back that said: “I HEAR YOU.” I can’t tell you how much better I felt. Two days later I wrote an e-mail to the customer service department of a big company. The next day I received an e-mail that basically said I hear you and here is a simple way to solve your problem with our company. I actually thought that I would never hear back from the company. Certainly not in less than 24 hours. In both scenarios, simply an acknowledgement of my issues made me feel better.

So how does this tie in with condominium and HOA law? Unit owners often times feel that the Board is not listening to them. That’s why both the Florida Condominium Act and The Florida Homeowner Association Act require that each unit owner be allowed to speak at all Board meetings. Sometimes that owner says some very intelligent things. Sometimes that owner says some very silly things and the Board winds up verbally fighting with that owner. That’s a big mistake. That unit owner simply wants to be heard, crazy or not. He or she simply wants to address the people in charge and explain why they are against current policy and explain why their idea is better.

My recommendation to Boards is always to let that person speak – don’t fight. Fighting only causes that unit owner and their cohorts to remain enemies against the Board and gives them further ammunition when accusing the board of misdeeds.

In a condominium, if you are 150 units or more, you must post the official records on a website. There is no such law for HOAs. Why? Why should it be harder for owners in an HOA to obtain records? Why are laws that require Boards to answer, suddenly repealed?

All I can say is………when I was told “I Hear you” I felt great……somebody understands. When a company got back to me quickly, I felt fantastic. That’s all it takes…….acknowledgement. I hope members of Board of Directors get the hint today and come up with their own new New Year’s Resolution.

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