Trustee Over Condo Dispute

Trustee Over Condo Dispute

QUESTION:


How can I get court appointed as a trustee over a condo association?

ANSWER:


Condominium association disputes and trustee appointment in Massachusetts:

For purposes of my response I will assume that the condominium association to which you refer is a trust formed under Massachusetts law. 

Generally speaking the appointment process for condominium association trustees is governed by a document entitled “Declaration of Trust.” The declaration of trust is the document that creates the trust. If you do not have a copy of the declaration of trust most likely the Settlor (the creator of the trust) recorded this document at the registry of deeds in conjunction with the master deed i.e. the deed describing the property containing the condominium units.

Again, the provisions of the declaration of trust usually govern the appointment of trustees but Massachusetts court will deviate from the requirements of the declaration of trust if necessary to protect the interests of the trust beneficiaries, the unit owners. Stated differently, courts will allow parties to deviate from the appointment mechanism provided in the declaration of trust if doing so is necessary to protect the trust beneficiaries interests. 

Here is an example: 
The trustee appointment mechanism for Condo Assoc. X will allow Person Y to be appointed as a trustee with voting rights. Person Y seeks to be a trustee in order to vote against a proposal currently before the board of trustees that would affect the amount of condominium fees Person Y owes to the association (Person Y has a conflict of interest). The condo unit owners object to Person Y being a trustee and they file suit. The court would likely prevent Person Y from becoming a trustee as such an appointment would prejudice the trust beneficiaries, the unit owners.

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