Exterior Door Color from HOA Board has Owner Seeing Red!

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P.W. from Michigan writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I am in dispute with my condo association with regards to my door color. They want all exterior doors to be a dark brown color.  My question is, when a decision is made for all co-owners to change their door color, does a vote need to take place with the co-owners or can the association just come up with this decision and everyone has to comply?  Thanks.

Mister Condo replies:

P.W., sorry to learn of your dispute. I wish I could say you are alone but there are many times where the association takes action that not all homeowners are in full agreement with. It is just one of the realities of living in a HOA.

As long as the Board followed proper protocol as outlined in your condo documents and prevailing state law, they are certainly within their rights to dictate issues of architectural compliance, which is the area that exterior door color would fall under. Other items in this category are exterior building colors, decks, windows, awnings, roof styles, and just about anything else that is visible from the curb.

Is the door color listed in your condo documents? If not, then a proper vote should have been held. The Board could have held this vote at one of the Board meetings or it may have been voted on at an Annual meeting of all homeowners. Either way, there should be a record of the vote for you to review. Unless you are able to get enough homeowners and/or Board members to bring the item up for another vote, dark brown doors is the law of the land and you will need to comply or face potential fines and action by the association to correct your non-compliance. Unless you are ready to do battle with your HOA over your door color, I think I’d go along with the association’s request. Good luck!

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