J.M. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our developer sends his one representative to our annual condo meetings. He owns one condo unit and several empty lots for future condos. How many votes does he get?
Mister Condo replies:
J.M., developer transition periods are some of the most challenging times a young association like yours can face. There are all sorts of governance questions that can pop up and there is not a “one size fits all” answer I can provide. If the section or phase of development that you own in is under Board control, that is to say, has been given control of the governance from the developer, then the developer who owns one unit has the same voting power as any other unit owner which is usually one vote per unit. I reached out to an attorney friend of mine who practices in this specialty area of real estate law. Here is his advice:
“The answer depends entirely on what the declaration and bylaws say. Only parcels which have been formally added to the condominium by amending the declaration are entitled to vote, usually one equal vote each in modern condominiums. But some documents say unbuilt lots have lesser voting rights, while others give each unit a fractional vote based on percentages of ownership, square footage, or other measures. Unless the documents say otherwise, if the developer owns only one unit plus other undeclared lots, he can cast only one vote just like any other owner.”