Condo Developer Refuses to Sell or Properly Maintain Association Amenities

R.M. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

My condo complex was built about 25 years ago. The developer plans to build housing on the site and has retained ownership of the amenities such as the clubhouse, pool and tennis courts. The clubhouse is an unusable disaster (even has boarded up windows) and the tennis courts are in very poor condition. The pool is questionable but is used and maintained in the summer months only. After that it is an uncovered green swamp I get to look at. My window overlooks the pool. The current condo owners fund these facilities (in my opinion way too expensive) and yet have no control over our amenities. Our management company also manages the amenities that we don’t own. I see this as a conflict. Can anything be done to make this developer turn over the amenities?

Mister Condo replies:

R.M., I am sorry for the lack of properly maintained amenities at your association. Unfortunately, since the association does not own the amenities in question, there is very little that can be done. You can review the governance documents and developer agreements to see if there are any dates by which the association needs to have these amenities turned over or sold to them. Or the association can try to buy these amenities from the developer outright. However, the developer may be under no obligation to sell them to the association (or anyone for that matter). These are all important issues for a new community and buyers into such a community should have a full understanding of what is and isn’t included. Clearly, access to amenities owned by a third party (the developer) may be included but are subject to the whims of the amenity’s owner. You can certainly speak with the association’s attorney to see what legal remedies are available to the association but unless there is contractual paperwork that has been violated I can’t think of any other legal grounds whereby the developer can be forced to turn over the amenities. All the best!

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