Ours is not a ‘horror’ story but does show the insidious and costly nature of unenforced condo laws.
Existing condo law must be ENFORCED by a neutral agency. The Condominium Act came about because regulation became necessary to protect owners of these ‘new communities’.
However, because the state cannot directly enforce the law, associations have managed to circumvent it.Our association is comprised of 32 units that pay equal common fees. In our association, 24 units are townhouses, with awnings, fireplace chimneys, basements, extensive brick sidewallks with railings, trellises, and lawn sprinklers.
The other eight units are ranch style units that have none of the mentioned items of the other 24 units. The 24 can out vote the eight on almost everything. The common fees used to be fractional but because the intent of fractional common fees and voting was misunderstood and/or hard to cipher by the once owner-management, ‘equal’ common fees were instituted.
The eight subsidized amenities for the 24. Regardless, the association is in clear violation of the “Condominium Act 825 Sec. 47-74 Rights of unit owners” which states, “(b) (1) Each unit owner shall own an undivided interest in the common elements, in the percentage expressed in the declaration.
Such percentage shall be computed on any of the following bases, or a combination thereof, provided that the declaration shall fully set forth the manner in which the percentage appertaining to each unit is ascertained: (A) The fair value of each unit at the date of the declaration in relation to the fair value of all the units having an interest in the common elements; (B) the size of each unit, as shown in the plans filed with the condominium instruments, in relation to the size of all of the units having any interest in the common elements; or (C) that the percentage appertaining to each unit, or to each unit within separate classifications, is to be identical.
Even if the eight owners had the money to fight, we’d be paying for both the association lawyer and our own. If the eight water thier lawn, they pay for that water plus the water for the sprinkler system across the street for the 24 units over there. In effect, a minority is subsidizing the majority. The fact that none of this is made clear when purchasing a unit is deplorable.
The kicker? Our condo association lawyer is also a lawyer for a group fighting the proposed legislation.
Ruth Van Anden, East Windsor
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