J.E. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Several owners receive benefits (dead tree removal, pest control, repairs, extra landscaping plants and attention to outside areas, etc.) that the rest of the community cannot get approved. There is definitely an “in group” and an “out group”. Telephone calls and emails to the board president often go unanswered. Reporting to property management we are told the issue will be brought up to the board… and the circle begins again. This is clearly discrimination but we are not sure where to turn for help. Help!
Mister Condo replies:
J.E., thanks for writing. I take issue with your use of the word “discrimination” as that word has legal connotations, which are not being met from what you have described. I sense the frustration that you and your fellow unit owners are feeling. From what you have described, it appears the Board is offering its members some preferential treatment, which in not necessarily illegal, but it is improper. The good news is that you and your fellow residents can remedy the situation in fairly short order.
Board members are not kings. They are volunteers who must be elected or reelected to govern the association. The simplest remedy is to simply vote them out of office at your earliest convenience. Of course, that also means you should have several candidates willing to run and serve in their place. Keep in mind that volunteering to serve on the Board is both rewarding and challenging. It often requires giving up personal time to deal with the association’s governance. The reward for doing so is satisfaction of a job well done. There is no compensation, nor should there be preferential treatment when it comes to having common elements maintained or beautification or enhancements made to the property. Any Board that takes care of itself, and only itself, is generally rewarded by being voted out of office. In extreme cases, recall elections are held and volunteers are stripped of their duties before their term even expires. You should consult with your governance documents if you feel that extreme measure is necessary. Good luck!