C.C. from Fairfield County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I recently moved to a local condo when my business relocated my job to Stamford. I haven’t yet met any of my neighbors and I am feeling a little intimidated about attending a Board meeting without knowing anyone who will be there. I have a friend who doesn’t live in the complex but has offered to go to the meeting with me so I don’t feel so alone when I am there. Are there rules about who can come to the meeting?
Mister Condo replies:
C.C., welcome to Fairfield County and Connecticut! I hope your job reassignment is working well for you and you are enjoying the Nutmeg State. Since you didn’t mention your status as a previous condo owner, I will give you an answer as if you are new to the world of condominium living. The short answer to your question is “it depends”. Let me explain.
Some condominiums have a rather large amount of attendees for their meeting, especially their Annual Meeting. Due to the space of the meeting room, it may be necessary to limit attendance to only those unit owners who will be voting. Also, in an effort to keep decorum, some Boards have adopted rules that only unit owners can attend meetings. I don’t know what the specific rules are at your condo but there are a few places you can check to find out.
If you take a few minutes to review your condo docs (that pack of papers you or your attorney were given at or around the closing) you will very likely find a section on Board meetings and who is allowed to attend. These rules vary by association but they usually outline who is allowed at the meeting. If it states that visitors are allowed, then by all means ask your friend to accompany you.
Finally, since it is better to be safe than sorry, a quick call to the condo’s property management firm may clear the matter up for you. Simply ask them if it is alright to bring a friend to the meeting. As long as your friend realizes that he/she cannot speak or vote at the meeting, it may be perfectly acceptable for him/her to attend. Good luck!