F.L. from Monmouth County, New Jersey writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am a Board Member (Trustee) of a Condominium complex of four buildings with roughly 130 units combined. Each building is three stories, plus a basement with a laundry room and storage rooms. At our last Board Meeting, two Board Members brought up a proposal that we have a cart available for owners/residents to use for transporting things such as groceries and purchased items from their cars in the parking lot to their rooms. They suggested that the carts be stored in the laundry room, used by the owners/tenants, and returned to the laundry room when usage is complete. The majority of the Board Members voted it down, primarily because of “liability” factor. A few of the Board Members were extremely upset by the Board’s decision and they were looking for another opinion. I suggested that we would ask for yours…
Mister Condo replies:
F.L., I am flattered. Here is the problem with adding a simple amenity like a cart. It wasn’t part of the association’s common elements originally so it needs to be added after the fact. No one purchased a unit at the condo expecting there be a cart available to them. Anything that is owned by the association creates a liability for the association. The “what if” scenario applies here. What if someone gets hurt? What if a child decides to ride the cart and falls off and gets injured? What if someone decides to move something heavy with the cart and the cart breaks and either a person or property gets damaged. And on and on it goes. The liability likely outweighs the helpfulness of the cart so I would have to side with the Board members who said “no”. Now, that doesn’t mean I think the cart is unnecessary, just unnecessary for the association to provide given the possible risk created by the cart. All the best!