By Lanier Coulter, Esq.

Published November 27, 2013


  It is officially the holiday season! The year is coming to and, and for many boards of directors, it marks the end of a long, busy year.  Too often homeowners forget that serving on the board of directors is, in most cases, purely a voluntary position, often times performed on top of having a full-time paying job. After working so hard, surely directors and officers serving on a board of directors deserve a little extra bonus, right?  Or perhaps even a small salary for the services performed?


                Whether or not an officer or director can get paid for his or her services will depend on the governing documents for the community.  Most, if not all, community associations in the State of Georgia are non-profit corporations.   


                The Georgia law governing non-profit corporations states that officers and directors may not be compensated unless otherwise allowed for by the corporation's bylaws.  In most cases, the bylaws for an association will not allow for compensation of officers and directors.  Some bylaws will allow for officers and directors to be reimbursed for minor expenses.  Other bylaws will specify that small tokens of appreciation or food for board meetings shall not be considered compensation.  However, the prevailing standard for most associations is that officers and directors shall not be compensated.


                It is important to check your bylaws prior to allowing for any type of compensation or holiday bonus being paid for out of association funds.   Even a small token of appreciation that is paid for out of association funds can be considered a form of compensation and in violation of Georgia law unless the bylaws for the association permit otherwise.  Of course, voluntary gifts from the membership are welcome!

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G. Lanier Coulter, Jr. - owner/founder of the firm. He is a 1998 graduate of Oglethorpe University and a 2001 graduate of Emory University School of Law, where he was the recipient

of the Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund Award.  


Lanier is a member of the state Bar of Georgia and the DeKalb County Bar Association.  He is the author of "Don't Wait Until it's Too Late, Statutes of Limitation and How They Can Affect Your Association's Rights" which appeared in Georgia Commons, a Publication of Community Associations Institute of Georgia, Inc.  


Lanier practices primarily in the area of community association law.  Lanier assists associations in interpretation and enforcement of their governing documents (covenant enforcement and collection of assessments) and in the negotiation, financing and execution of major renovation and rehabilitation projects.  He is an instructor of continuing education courses for community association managers and attorneys, including, "Dealing With Difficult People," "Problem Solving for Planned Communities," and "Condominium Law." 


Currently Lanier serves as a member of the Amicus Committee the Community Association Institute and a member of the Legislative Action Committee for the Georgia for Chapter of the Community Association Institute.  He was the recipient of the 2011 Rising Star Award in the CAI-Georgia Chapter.

Contact Lanier at: