Condo Owner Modifies Condo Interior Without Board Approval

H.R. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Our Small condominium, AKA condex, has one and two bedroom units. A new Unit owner has made changes to their unit without seeking the required permission from the board. The seller notified the association of a new rug to be put in. This was approved. Unfortunately, the new owner took out the old carpeting and put in hardwood floors and added additional rooms to a one bedroom unit. They are currently occupying the space as a non-approved three-bedroom unit. They are also paying the condo fee at a one bedroom rate. What is the most effective way to restore the unit to a carpeted one bedroom?

Mister Condo replies:

H.R., while it would be nice for the unit owner who has broken the rules of the association to simply restore the unit to its previous condition and live in the unit as was agreed to in the by-laws of the association, it is very likely time for the association to hire an attorney and sue the owner to make the necessary changes. Clearly, this unit owner has neither read nor lived up to the expectation and requirements as set out in the governing documents. Fortunately for the association, this is a legal document that gives the association fairly broad powers in forcing compliance. Obviously, the first step is to ask nicely that the new owner adhere to the by-laws and restore the unit to its previous condition. However, if nice doesn’t work, there is always the legal option of suing the owner and forcing compliance. I hope it goes smoothly for the association. This could be a long and costly legal battle if it doesn’t. Good luck!

2 thoughts on “Condo Owner Modifies Condo Interior Without Board Approval

    1. They do the work while most people at at their day jobs; and those that are present do not report the work in a timely fashion to the Condo Board (most people at too lazy or ignorant to call the city and report them for not having a building permit – which in my experience is the fastest way to stop unlicensed work). Example: work begins Monday the 1st of the month. No one bothers to lodge a complaint until Tuesday the 9th. The PM emails the Board Members, who add this item to the agenda for the Board Meeting on The 3rd Thursday of the month where it is discussed, minimized, over stated and then the PM is advised to provide opinions to Board including getting the Lawyers opinion which takes another week and then a letter is sent. By then the work is done and people have moved in. Condo Corp.’s are bad for trying to do everything themselves, doing it poorly, and not using resources available to them (namely the bylaw enforcement, building inspectors and the fire department).

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