New HOA Paint Job Has Unit Owners Seeing Red!

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D.H. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Our HOA is going to repaint. The colors to be used on half the townhouses is to be gray. The vast majority of the affected homeowners do not want gray. How do we get a reluctant board to remand their decision?

Mister Condo replies:

D.H., if you follow my column regularly, you probably already know the answer. HOA Boards are made up of volunteer leaders from within the community. They are democratically elected and unelected from service by the majority vote of the unit owners. When they take actions against the desire of the majority of unit owners, they are usually rewarded with a swift removal from office at the next election. Typically, Boards would ask or survey a number of residents before selecting a new color for a property. It is far more common to simply keep the existing colors as the pallet is often already generally agreeable to residents and often have a direct correspondence to other design elements of the property. I have seen associations actually hold unit owner votes on such things because people tend to hold the color of their homes in such high esteem. Gray, in particular, can be tricky to work with because if you aren’t careful, you can create an army barracks effect, as happened in my own community many years ago. I can tell you that unit owners were not happy and seven years later, an entirely new Board selected a lovely shade of blue that still adorns this community. I wish you the same success.

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