C.I. from Hartford County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Is it legal for Condo Assoc. to require owners to go to arbitration with a complaint against the Board, but reserve for itself the right to litigate in court a complaint against an owner?
Mister Condo replies:
C.I., I am not an attorney so I cannot offer you any legal opinions in this column. However, in my non-legal opinion, I don’t see where there would be a problem. Many states require unit owners with complaints against the Board to go to arbitration. The reason for this is simple. There are just too many unit owners that they could easily overwhelm the courts with matters that are far easier to settle in arbitration. Complaints from the Board are far fewer and are generally not the type of complaint that arbitration would assist. When Boards take legal action against a unit owner, it is usually over financial matters (unpaid common fees or Special Assessments). These aren’t items for arbitration; they are simply the Board enforcing the covenants and collecting the monies that are owed to the Association. For a proper legal opinion, you should consult with an attorney but I hope this friendly response helps you understand the situation. All the best!