Condo Owner in Arrears Seeks to Purchase Second Unit

R.D. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

We have a small commercial condo complex. A current unit owner is in arrears for over $4000. He is trying to purchase a unit that is for sale. Can we block him from making the purchase until his other unit fees are paid in full?

Mister Condo replies:

R.D., I am not aware of any law that would prohibit this unit owner from purchasing a second unit in your association just because he or she has fallen behind in common fees or assessments due to the association. Unless your by-laws have such wording (doubtful), my guess is that the association has little to say about who can purchase into the association. The larger question is how has this person gotten so far into arrears and what is the association doing to collect its monies? Certainly, by this point, all efforts should be made to collect the association’s dues, up to and including the use of a professional collection service and/or attorney to bring suit against the unit owner. I find it unlikely that a unit owner that far in arrears would have the credit to secure a mortgage for a new purchase but, again, that really isn’t the concern of the association. Collecting the fees due that are in arrears should be the priority. I can only imagine the burden it puts on a small association like yours. Good luck!

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