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Questions & Answers by John H. Gettinger, Esq.

Question:

At the annual mtg we were two short for a quorum. The board gave two condos two votes (married couples). Is this legal?

Answer:

No, this is not legal. The "quorum" provision of a homeowners association by-laws typically provide that "so many home owners as shall represent at least 51% of the total authorized votes of all home owners present in person or represented by written proxy shall constitute a quorum at all meetings of the home owners for the transaction of business." The "voting" provision of the by-laws typically provides that each home owner " shall be entitled to cast one vote at all home owners meetings for each home or homes owned by such home owner." The by-laws typically define "home owner" to be the record title owner(s) of the home and, if title is held by two (2) or more persons to be treated for all purposes, as a single owner, irrespective of whether such ownership is joint, in common or by tenancy by the entirety.

Based upon these provisions of the by-laws, a husband and wife, who own a home as tenants by the entirety, should be treated as a single home owner for purposes of meeting quorum requirements and should be given one vote for the home owned by them jointly.

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