Declarant Leaving New HOA With Unfinished Roads

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M.K. from Middlesex County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

We have an 8-year old condo community that is under Declarant (D) control who has recently hinted he is ready to relinquish control to an HOA. The problem is that the road paving is not completed with only a deteriorating base present and no top coat. Declarant has repeatedly stated he will not finish road until all lots built on due to fear of construction vehicle damage. I fear he will leave us with a road still needing finishing and no reserves for it. Issue is not addressed in our documents. Any recourse?

Mister Condo replies:

M.K., Declarant control issues are quite different from the vast majority of questions I receive at Ask Mister Condo. While I was fairly certain of the answer, I called in some help from an attorney who specializes in community association laws here in Connecticut. Here’s what the attorney had to say:

“The answer to your question will depend on exactly what the project plans, zoning approvals, and individual purchase contracts say, although usually complete construction of permanent roadways suitable for normal use is considered part of the implied warranties for each unit sale.  Get the association’s attorney involved to keep a close eye on the developer’s progress.  If it looks like the developer will disappear or become insolvent before the roads are completed, the courts may be able to offer remedies.  If a violation or even a potential violation can be proven, it might be possible to secure the money needed to complete the roads with an attachment, functioning like a lien, against the developer’s unsold units.”

Sounds like great advice to me, M.K.! Best of luck to you!

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