E.B. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
What condominium governing documents HAVE to be recorded with the county recorders office? More specifically, do declaration and bylaw amendments HAVE to be recorded? What (legally) happens if they are not? Does NOT recording documents have a bearing on covenant enforcement? Will fines uphold in court?
Mister Condo replies:
E.B., since I am not an attorney and I am not certain what part of the country you are from, I am going to have to refer you to a local expert in your area. Check with your local chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) at https://www.caionline.org/Chapters/Pages/Find-A-Chapter.aspx and search for your local chapter and then an attorney who practices community association law in your area.
On a more practical note, let me offer some advice. My guess is that improper filing of anything as important as declaration and bylaw amendments would have a bearing on covenant enforcement and even fines that end up going to court. After all, how could a unit owner know they were in violation of such amendments if they weren’t part of the governing documents?
Please consult with a local attorney, especially if you have a situation where the association now finds itself taking a unit owner to court over fines. If the association doesn’t have a leg to stand on because the proper paperwork wasn’t filed with the proper authorities, it would be better to find out now rather than after the expense of a court hearing where the association is likely to lose because it didn’t behave properly to begin with. Good luck!