D.L. from Middlesex County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am having an on-going problem with our property manager and the Board. My unit needs a repair that is clearly an HOA responsibility (an issue involving the building foundation). The Connecticut General Statutes are clear and unambiguous that the HOA is responsible for the repair. Relevant past history — I began requesting this repair in 2017, and the property manager has been dragging his heels until I “lawyered up” in March 2019. The latest development is that the Board and the property manager are agreeing to the repair PROVIDED that I sign an agreement indicating that I am “on board” with the selected contractor. I have absolutely no idea where this is coming from. Furthermore, this is unprecedented. I have previously served multiple terms as a Board member, and am a past Board president. I am very familiar with how repairs are handled, and have NEVER heard of a unit owner being coerced into signing an agreement in order to have a repair made. I am not aware of anything in Connecticut condominium law that allows a Board or a property manager to attach a condition to a common element repair — which — the HOA is legally mandated to assume responsibility for. Your thoughts please.
Mister Condo replies:
D.L., as I always begin such an opinion… I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column. While I have never heard of such a thing as a person being “on board” with a repair, if the Board is asking you to sign an agreement you would be best advised to seek legal counsel before you do so. I can’t imagine this heading to court and the association attorney producing a document that states you claimed to be “on board” unless you were actually setting sail on a ship! I am awfully sorry that you have a foundation problem. There have been many in Connecticut and associations found themselves scrambling because the problem typically surfaced long after the developer was absolved from any responsibility. I hope you get your repairs done to your unit and that they are done to the satisfaction of all involved, “on board” or otherwise. Good luck!