How your condo association can enforce rules broken by an owner

On Behalf of | Mar 10, 2020 | Residential Real Estate |

Condominium associations fall into an awkward social role where they must provide services to the property owners that join their association while also enforcing rules among those same property owners. Everyone who buys into a condominium association will likely do so fully aware of the requirements and restrictions created by the condominium association’s rules.

Unfortunately, some people feel like those rules should only apply to other people, not to them. If you have had to deal with a condo owner who violates aesthetic rules, refuses to contribute to general maintenance funds, or otherwise violates condominium association rules and guidelines, you may need to take enforcement action against that individual in order to protect the property values of everyone who lives there and to ensure continued compliance among other owners.

After all, if one person gets away with flagrantly flouting the rules set in place to protect your property values, what’s to stop others from following their example?

Legal letters are often the first enforcement step to take

Having an attorney draft a concise and direct letter outlining the violations and requesting that the condo owner take certain actions to address those issues is usually a good first step. If a condo owner has engaged in activities prohibited by the association, a cease-and-desist notice will typically be the first formal communication related to enforcement.

However, you may also need to advise someone of your intention to take collection activity for legally permissible fees or even secure a lien against their condo due to a failure to pay certain fees or charges.

Be ready to follow up that letter with legal filings

While clearly-written letters explaining how the condominium owner is in violation of the rules put in place by the association can motivate some people to change their behavior, others will attempt to call the bluff of the condominium association. They may refuse to change their behavior or even double down on such behavior and become more outspoken and obnoxious in their refusal to comply after receiving an initial letter.

Failing to take additional action will only strengthen the idea that the condominium owners can flagrantly violate the rules. Be ready to go to court if necessary to compel a condominium owner to comply with the rules set in place to ensure the quiet ownership of the property for everyone nearby and to protect the value of the individual units.