E.N. from Dade County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
There is an open area close to our condo considered a dog park for years. There is no regulation and its pretty subjective if the area is owned by our condo or the commercial tower. Management and board imposed a $100 fine for anyone that goes with the dog there. The only thing they can “impose” is to make a leash mandatory since is it not a common area (like the pool). Also, people that own bikes and scooters will have to start paying a monthly fee to park in the garage and nothing has been clarified, it seems like a material change to the way things work in the building that is being approved without due process. I have the support of many unit owners. What would Mr. Condo do?
Mister Condo replies:
E.N., I am sorry that many members of your association do not feel as though the Board is acting in their best interests. Mister Condo would encourage the disgruntled owners to ban together and elect Board members that more accurately represent the majority of unit owners. The “open area close to our condo considered a dog park for years” is either owned by the association or it isn’t. No grey area here. Check with local land records and see who owns it. The association cannot mandate activity that happens off of the common areas as they have no jurisdiction on property they do not own. If they do own the land, they can put whatever restrictions on its use as they see fit, including fining pet owners who use the space against the rules of the association (which they can make). The Board is also in control of the garage, which is an association-owned asset. If they wish to mandate a parking or storage fee for bikes and scooters, they are likely well within their right to do so. The correct result for making unpopular rules is to terminate the Board, usually at the next election. Keep in mind that if you are in the minority and/or these Board members are re-elected, there is little you can do unless they have violated the governance documents. I really haven’t heard anything in your question that rises to that level of challenge. Power to the people. Let your voices be heard at the next election. Be sure to back the candidate who feel the way you do as they are your democratically elected representatives. All the best!