Help Wanted: Looking for long hours, huge financial responsibility and good listener for no pay and no benefits. Who would be interested in a job like this? You would be surprised because this is a job listing for co-op and condo boards and thousands of people have served gratis. Since serving on a co-op or condo board is long hours and many responsibilities, many people think that board members should be paid.
There are arguments for and against paying board members. One argument for paying is that board members make huge financial decisions regarding the building and invest numerous hours of personal time. An argument against paying board members is that it should be considered doing your civic duty to make sure that your community runs the best that it can and at the most, they should get a thank you holiday dinner at the end of the year.
There are no laws prohibiting paying board members. However, most condo by-laws include a provision which states that no board member shall receive any compensation for being on the board. Bylaws could be changed by an amendment, which requires a vote from the unit-owners.
Co-ops have proprietary leases and these might or might not have a provision restricting payment to the board. Some leases prohibit payment unless the shareholders vote to pay the board members. Others do not include this restriction. A note to the board, you should always put a vote to the shareholders before agreeing that board members must be paid because if the majority does not agree then it could be a breach of your duty as a board member.
In smaller buildings, it could be beneficial for the board to be paid because they are taking care of the finances and the building can save money by not hiring a management company. Compensation could be doled out according to the amount of time a board member needs to accomplish the job. If the co-op or condo decides not to pay the board, they could offer an incentive such as free parking or a maintenance reduction. However, this could be a slippery slope and some board members might feel that they do more work than others and should be paid more. Also, another downside is that by being paid, certain board members might want to hold on to the position, which could create favoritism or a spoils system.
New York City seems to favor volunteer boards and paid boards are quite rare. Therefore, if you are looking to join your condo or co-op board, you most likely will not get paid.
All Area Realty Services knows what it takes to manage buildings professionally and efficiently, and just as important - keeping residents happy. With over 30 years of experience, and many of our clients with us for decades, you can trust All Area Realty Services with taking care of your building.