A.E. from Hartford County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My board is trying to access me a major maintenance expense in the common area which I have been told by a previous president and the Town Clerk’s office is ridiculous. This board cannot stand to be questioned and many previous long-standing owners have left over their harassment. The question I’m asking is I’ve been told there exist an independent advisory review board that reviews a board’s policies and practices. If so, can you tell me where I can access their information?
Mister Condo replies:
A.E., I am afraid that I am not aware of any such review board. Condominium associations and HOAs are governed by volunteer leaders from within their communities. Not all are adequately prepared or trained for the job and there are times when complaints of harassment and unreasonableness will undoubtedly arise. The best solution is to vote them out of office and replace them with new volunteer leaders who better represent the wants and desires of the community. However, if there are no other leaders interested in volunteering, you are stuck with the leaders you have. That being said, if the law is on your side, and it sounds like it might be from what you have told me here, you always have the ability to sue the Board if they violate any of your rights. Common Area maintenance is the responsibility of the association, managed by the Board. They cannot arbitrarily assign an expense to an owner unless there is some kind of dispute over damage or ownership of the common area (limited common areas can create a grey area in some associations). My advice is for you to speak to an attorney if you feel you need to and to rally other unit owners around voting this Board out. There is no reason any association should be run by bullies. All the best!