Condo Board Denies Unit Owner Driveway Widening Request; Owner Proceeds Anyway!

J.G. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

One of our condo owners asked the Board if they could widen their driveway to accommodate 2 cars. We, as a board, had to deny the request due to the bylaws regulating common areas. We have discovered they are making plans to proceed without our permission. What can we do to prevent this from occurring?

Mister Condo replies:

J.G., this is the second day in a row I have received questions about unit owners feeling they have the right to do whatever they want in their condo, regardless of the rules of the association. Quite simply, the Board is the enforcer of the association rules and it is up to the Board to make all unit owners comply with the regulations of the community. If a unit owner attempts to modify a common element, in any way, the Board needs to cite them for the violation, ask them to return the common element to the way it was before they violated the governing documents. Further, contentious unit owners who show little regard for the rules of the association often need further “encouragement” in the form of a lawsuit, that not only forces them to comply with the rules but also costs them a good deal of money because they are often charged the cost of the association’s attorney to take action against them. It is unfortunate that it often comes to this but I find it is the best way for the association to protect itself from unit owners who probably don’t belong living in a condominium in the first place due to their lack of consideration of following the rules which make the community a desirable place to live. Good luck!

2 thoughts on “Condo Board Denies Unit Owner Driveway Widening Request; Owner Proceeds Anyway!

  1. Mr. Condo,

    Your comment about seeing this type of thing more often is interesting. In my Southern California practice, I too, have seen a significant uptick in instances of condominium owners blatantly disregarding Association governing documents and even architectural denials! You have correctly indicated that there are plenty of legal remedies for the Association. Further, in most cases in California, the associations have a right to recover attorneys fees at the end. However, such conduct is still a tragedy inasmuch as its burden and initial costs tend to tug and tear at the fabric of the community itself.

    I have found that a quick, strong and unwavering association response, followed immediately by community-wide education, is the most effective long term strategy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *