R.M. from Hartford County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
As president of our association I have been faced with an issue of residents that constantly toss bulk amounts of food outside in common property areas for the purpose of feeding wildlife. This is causing our community to become unsafe due to many varieties of animals from bears to skunks on the property as well as residents complaining about food on the common areas. We have sent letters and threaten fines but nothing has worked. Can we add a policy to our rules and regulations to stop such behavior in the future? Help!
Mister Condo replies:
R.M., rules are only as good as they are enforceable. You mentioned sending letter and “threatening” fines but you haven’t gone as far as to actually issue fines. Your rules, therefore, have no teeth and residents are scoffing at them. As the next order of business, ass the rules and appropriate fines for rules violations to your by-laws. Then, when a unit owner or resident is accused of violating a rule, issue a summons for them to appear before the Board at the next meeting. Ask them why they violated the rule. Then issue either a warning or a fine and repeat. You tried the “common sense” approach and that didn’t work. It’s time to escalate the words into actions. My guess is once it starts costing them money, the rules violators will stop. Good luck!
3 thoughts on “Condo President Perplexed as Unit Owners Feed Wild Animals”
Nope. Report this to the municipality and/or Animal Services.
This is really personal and you do not want this fight in house. Have the authorities do the investigation, enforcement and education. Let them be the bad guy.
Plead ignorance as to how Animal Services became involved. It is their jurisdiction after all.
DEFINITELY. Assess a fine. Members laugh at warnings and lose trust in boards of directors if there is no enforcement. This has happened in my HOA. The only way to gain compliance is to use an escalating fine structure. Small fine, bigger fine, LARGE FINE. That is what fines are for! This also prevents members from filing lawsuits over selective enforcement (FYI – enforcing some rules but not all rules is also selective enforcement). This happened here in my HOA.
One of our own board members feeds raccoons. How is a rat infested community supposed to improve it’s rat problem when a board member feeds the wildlife! Every bowl of dog food or cat food left outside contributes to the rat problem. So does feeding wildlife.