D.N. from Litchfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can my condo association, that I pay $170.00 monthly to, MAKE my neighbor stop throwing his cigarette butts on the property? Because if they can’t, I’ll call my lawyer. Thank you.
Mister Condo replies:
D.N., regardless of what your common fees are, your Board can only enforce the rules that are on the books of your condominium. Generally speaking, littering of any sort is prohibited on the common grounds of the association. That being said, enforcement of such provisions can prove quite challenging when owners flagrantly disobey the rules they agreed to live by when they purchased their unit. It is even more challenging when the unit is rented out and the tenant isn’t even aware of the regulations.
Since you have indicated that you are willing to contact an attorney to see what can be done, I wholeheartedly encourage you to do so. You should also request, in writing, that your Board be aware of the problem and provide any evidence that you have to support your claim. Ideally, you would need a photo or video clip of your neighbor committing the violation so that your Board was armed to make a complaint. Keep in mind that all the Board can do is issue a warning at the first offense and request an appearance from the rule breaker before they issue a fine on subsequent offenses. Also be aware that your Board is under no obligation to take any action whatsoever so if they don’t act, don’t be surprised. The battle over smoking at condos in general has been heating up for years across Connecticut and across the country. As you can imagine, those who smoke want to be left alone to enjoy their smoking; those who don’t smoke would like to see smoking at condos banned completely. Only time will tell who will prevail. In the meantime, see what your attorney has to say about it. All the best!