C.D. from Salt Lake County, Utah writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I joined our board to help our community be a better place. What ended up happening is the good old boys liked me right up until they figured out that I was free-thinking and voted my mind. They sent a letter removing me from the board which they could not do they can only remove an officer. I fought them on this and got back on the board and ever since they have had a campaign to make sure that I am not heard nor are any of my ideas. I have a neighbor who is violating several of our CC&R’s regarding noxious behavior and just general behavior that affects the value of our community. The board is not addressing this. I’ve sent emails with documentation, brought it up at meetings and no action is being taken. Is my only remedy to contact an attorney?
Mister Condo replies:
C.D., I am sorry that you have experienced this bullying and general bad behavior from your Board. In addition to free-thinking, you strike me as someone who knows when it is time to contact an attorney and sue to have your rights protected. I hope it doesn’t come to that but it just might. The Board is generally free to enforce or not enforce any violations of the association’s rules and covenants. It isn’t a good policy to not enforce but there are many associations that take this path because it is easier. What they can’t do is discriminate in who they decide to enforce the rules and covenants on. In other words, if the association has a rule against polka dot curtain and Unit Owner A decides to put pink polka dot curtains in their window and Unit Owner B decides to put blue polka dot curtains in their window, the Board cannot discriminate against only one of the owners and not the other. If they do, they will very likely be sued for discrimination. In your case, you haven’t mentioned whether or not any other unit owners are violating the same rules as the owner in question. If so, they are practicing discrimination and could be charged for doing so. As for your demand that the Board enforce all of the covenants and rules against all of the unit owners, you certainly can contact an attorney and see if a lawsuit will help. My guess is that unless they are discriminating, not much can be done. One other observation, C.D.. This community doesn’t seem to be right for you. If at some point the hassles of living there outweigh the joys of living there, I’d strongly consider selling and buying into a newer community where these “good old boys” haven’t had a chance to set up shop and devalue the community. You sound like a great person to have on the Board for the right community. Good luck!