G.M. from New London County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Hi, Mr. Condo! I live in a small condominium community and none of the unit owners have paid association fees since moving in. The Declarant has essentially been paying these expenses and only now wants to collect the fees that he hasn’t collected over the years. Can he do this, and how? Is it your opinion that we as unit owners have any defense to his demand for payment?
Mister Condo replies:
G.M., the fact that the unit owners have not paid common fees since purchasing their units is most unusual and quite disturbing. I am sure this isn’t the news people want to hear right around the holiday shopping season. I asked a friend of mine who is an attorney who specializes in community association law and the issues that occur during the developer transition period where control of the Board is transferred to the unit owner’s elected Board of Directors; Here is what the attorney had to offer:
“I assume the reason the declarant is involved at all is because he still owns enough of the units to control the board. The board can and should enforce the unit owners’ obligations to pay common charges. Unit owners must pay these in order to fund the annual budget, assuming one has been validly passed each year. There is no time limit on enforcement except that the foreclosable lien on each unit for unpaid charges expires after three years.”
That should give you some clarification, G.M.. All the best!