C.B. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
If a ballot is given to unit owners to vote for or against a 15% increase in common fees and of 200+ units, 51 vote no and 17 vote yes (a total of 68 responses), are the non-votes of the remaining 147 unit owners considered to be “yes” votes for the budget increase? Please help us. The Board says – the increase in common fees is passed – they cite:
Mister Condo replies:
C.B., while it seems a bit confusing, the Board is correct. Since the vast majority of owners did not exercise their right to vote, their votes are considered in favor of the motion. The way the statute is worded, it basically says that unless there are a majority of votes against the motion, the motion carries. This makes sense when you consider how many folks did not vote. If it took a majority of votes in favor of a motion to pass, and the majority of unit owners don’t take the time to vote, the Board would be incapacitated as it couldn’t pass any measure without the necessary votes. The fact that owners chose not to vote is their tacit approval of the motion (even though many of the folks who didn’t vote may not be in favor of the motion). Democracy in action in your condominium association. All the best!