R.W. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Mister Condo replies:
R.W., as hard to believe as it is, the Board absolutely has the right to decide which association rules they will enforce. What they can’t do is single out any single unit owner for rules enforcement while not enforcing that same rule in uniform manner throughout the association. Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you have two dogs and the rule is only one dog allowed per unit. There are several residents with multiple dogs but they only go after you. The should either go after all of the rule breakers or none. The reason is simple. The Board will likely be facing a discrimination lawsuit if they only go after a single unit owner for breaking a rule that multiple unit owners are breaking. In a perfect world, all of the residents would follow all of the rules and the Board could simply do what it was elected to do; manage the assets of the association. Rules exist to persuade people to purchase or rent within a community. The rules create expectations for what people can expect. Time spent chasing rulebreakers is time that the Board could be doing much more important work, namely enhancing, protecting, or maintaining the commonly owned assets of the association. Very few volunteers come forward to enforce rules. They come forward because they care about their investment in their unit and want to make sure the assets of the association are managed correctly and that property values are maximized. Chasing rulebreakers doesn’t accomplish that goal. All the best!