N.H. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
A condo owner does not like our cable provider and wants to either stop paying for the cable monthly or have us switch to another (faster internet speed) provider – who does not offer a bulk rate. The Board likes our current provider and is paying a bulk cable rate. How do we resolve this?
Mister Condo replies:
N.H., for the most part the Board is free to choose whichever service providers they wish for their buildings. The individual unit owner who stops paying his cable bills will very likely have his service terminated and may also face additional penalties and/or late fees if he doesn’t cancel through the proper channels. Individual unit owners who find themselves at odds over their condo association’s choice for bulk providers are often left with few other options if the utility does not have access to the common areas of the association, which the Board controls. Cellular service may be available but is generally a good bit more expensive than cable for television and Internet purposes. You may wish to consult with an attorney to see if your local laws supersede your association’s governance documents but, for the most part, the Board is the sole deciding authority on which services provider is used.
The best solution would be to work with the Board to see if there are alternatives in the association’s best interest. Faster Internet speeds, lower rates, better programming options are all reasons to change. However, if the Board is perfectly pleased with the current provider, the request is likely to fall on deaf ears. However, if enough unit owners demand change, the Board may find itself defending its position and individual Board members may find their positions challenged by new volunteers looking to serve on the Board just to bring about change in the bulk rate cable supplier.