T.B. from New London County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We are a 12 unit association. During our last annual meeting we asked the residents if they would like any newsletters, board meeting minutes, notice of meetings, etc. hand delivered. All but one unit owner agreed. We have been mailing all news to the one unit owner who disagreed. Now we are considering having a separate mail box on the front of each unit just for association use. Can the one unit owner legally refuse to have the association communications hand delivered? Thank you!
Mister Condo replies:
T.B., I would first like to congratulate your association for doing such a great job keeping unit owners informed with newsletters, minutes, notices and more. That’s a lot of work for such a small association!
The answer likely lies in your by-laws and my guess is that you are very likely required and best served by using the postal service for any unit owner who requests that you do so. In fact, I routinely suggest that associations put a stamp on it just in case they ever get hauled into court over a lawsuit that claims the unit owner was never sent the appropriate documentation that the association is required to provide. The cost of that stamp compared to having to defend why required communications were not mailed is minimal. It protects both the association and the unit owner by doing so.
That being said, as long as there is documentation from other unit owners that they are willing to forego mailed communications for hand delivered communications, I see no reason you can’t hand deliver to those unit owners that have agreed to that method. Keep in mind that any unit owner has the right to request the conversion back to mail at any time. Also, using the U.S. Mail service has advantages for your unit owners who may go on vacation from time to time or need mail forwarding for whatever reason. Hand delivering a notice that doesn’t get read in timely fashion by the recipient will not serve the best interest of the association or the unit owner. All the best!