Condo Board Discontinues Irrigation Program; Risks Curb Appeal for Savings

mc_horrified

A.W. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Our Association Board proposed decommissioning irrigation system in order to avoid raising our dues. We have 88 units, older population on a fixed income, but one of the nicest Condo Associations in the city. Our dues have not been raised for 5 years. While this looks like an easy fix, it is a temporary solution which would eliminate (damage or deteriorate) our property (assets). We were attracted to this place because of the impeccable condition that it was in… Bylaws state that the Board is authorized to make decisions and inform all occupants later. But, this may directly impact the value of our property. Is there anything we can do? Thank you.

Mister Condo replies:

A.W., you are correct in your analysis of the situation. The Board will save money in the short run and likely watch the property drop its impeccable condition as plants fail to thrive and green turns to brown. That being said, your question is what can you do about it? You can certainly petition the Board to keep the irrigation system in place but it would appear they’ve already made the decision to discontinue irrigation. The Board is made of elected volunteers from within the community association. Their job is to maintain, protect, and enhance the association’s assets. If they aren’t doing that job to your liking, you need to find volunteers that will. If enough of your fellow owners feel as you do, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Of course, that may mean you will need to consider running for the Board to make sure the irrigation system and other assets of the association are kept in place and maintained properly. That may also mean raising common fees to keep those assets properly running. If you are in the minority on this issue and the bulk of unit owners are against raising fees (as is often the case), you may just be stuck with the Board you have and their short-sightedness on this issue. All the best!

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