C.W. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can I be required to remove landscaping that does not meet community standards that has been in place for years and was put in by a former owner?
Mister Condo replies:
C.W., I am afraid that, under most circumstances, the Board is free to enforce community standards as they see fit. There are some exceptions and you might want to check with both your governing documents and state law to determine if your landscaping has been in place long enough to no longer be challenged by the association. In fact, it is highly unusual for a community association to allow any unit owner landscaping changes in the first place as landscaping is usually the association’s responsibility.
The other caveat is that the Board must enforce the community standards evenly. You cannot be singled out for your landscaping when other unit owners are allowed to keep their non-complying landscaping in place. In other words if your rose garden is not allowed, neither is the one in front of the unit next door or a few doors down or across the complex. More common is the placement of landscaping enhancements like fountains, gardens, extended decks, etc. that were never approved (in writing) by the Board. If these items were added without explicit written permission of the Board, then it is very likely that the Board is well within their rights to have these items removed. I hope that helps, C.W.!