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CT Condo Owners Celebrate Two Bills Passed by CT Legislature

By Connecticut Condo Owners Coalition | Thursday, May 10 CT Legislature passed two bills supported by the CT Condo Owners Coalition.

CCOC celebrates the passage on May 9th of the two bills they’ve been lobbying for in the Connecticut State Legislature.  We worked closely with several legislators and very much appreciate their actions to bring these bills to the floor for votes as they have worked in behalf of condo owners.  Both bills will be sent to the Governor for his signature and we are hopeful he will sign them.

HB 5536
The first, HB 5536, will require certification of community association managers and licensure of real estate brokers.  This act will help assure that professionals hired by or working with condo owners will adhere to a high ethical standard of conduct in their powerful positions working with condo associations. 

Recent incidents in Branford and Fairfield, where property managers were either wrongly padding costs billed to the community association (and paid by the owners!) and another in which the property manager used maintenance fees paid by the owners for his own benefit, rather than applying it, as was intended, to payment of the association’s bills.   By passage of 5511, condo owners will be given a degree of protection against blatant and illegal misuse of their funds.

HB 5511
Condo budgets to be approved by simple majority vote – Abstentions no longer counted as “yes” votes
The second bill, HB 5511, is concerned with two issues:  community association budgets, specifically at Heritage Village in Southbury, and the display of religious articles on owners’ doors.  Heritage Village experienced the passage of a budget under conditions that will no longer be possible.  The new law requires that budgets be approved by a simple majority of those voting; abstentions – which are not a vote – will no longer be counted. 

Display of religious articles on owners’ doors
In addition, the bill will allow the display of religious articles on owners’ doors.  This became an issue when a new Stratford resident was prohibited from displaying a mezuzah, a Jewish religious article, important to her, on her front door.  Although the association eventually rescinded their ban, legislation ensuring these rights was considered necessary.

These two bills constitute the main focus of CCOC during this legislative session.  

 "While we did not get everything we wanted for condo owners," Brian Harte, legislative director of the CCOC executive committee, said Thursday, "we won two important changes.

 "Hopefully the governor will sign them and we will monitor the laws to make sure that they work in a beneficial way for all condo owners and complexes."

Harte said if the bills need modification, the "CCOC will return to the General Assembly to request changes."

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

George P. Gombossy May 16, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Great debate folks. Let's take it up a notch and include your comments on www.ctwatchdog.com, which covers the same issues. Also, as a member of the CCOC executive committee I would love for all of you to sign up with us so you can have a voice in where we are going. Sign up is simple - www.ctcondoownerscoalition.com - the site is under construction and will be fully running in a month. Thank you, George Gombossy, editor ctwatchdog.com
Christine E. May 16, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Glen, What does paying cash for your condo have to do with Condo Association rules? In regards to the religious decor on doors, that's what this article is about...did you read it? Also....land lord? You only have a landlord if the condo isn't yours and you're paying rent. The rules regarding pets generally refers to dogs, and that's usually because the Condo Grounds are community property, and some pet owners don't clean up after their pets. Therefore, a lot of Condo Boards elect to institute a 'no pet' policy. Not all condo complexes are like that.
Glen K Dunbar May 16, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Christine: I just used the term landlord as I did not know the proper term. Ogre might be a better term. Drill Seargant. Rule Maker I just scanned quickly over the story to be honest. I got the jist of it in a nutshell. Condo Ogre bosses want to tell people they can/ can't hang things on their door. to me that is really stretching it and violating the poor peoples rights As for the pets thing. I will not touch that except say it is still unfair
Christine E. May 16, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Glen, Perhaps if you read it thoroughly, you would have noticed that the new bill allows people to hang religious decor on their doors, despite what Condo Associations think. So, you're complaining about something that's already been addressed. All this talk about Condo's being 'unfair'. You go into condo ownership knowing there is a 'governmental' body that tells you what you can and cannot do. The alternative to that would be buying a house, where you take care of everything yourself and have to listen to no one.
H.W. May 30, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Here are some uncomfortable questions. How likely is it that CCOC will take the side of a unit owner against HOAs and HOA attorneys? What is making a management company pass a Real Estate Exam really going to do to stop the intentional wrong-doing of an HOA? HOAs need to be sued. Period. HOA attorneys need to be sued. Period. But the harsh reality is that attorneys don't sue each other. Why? Because they all know each other - buddies. It's the Honor Among Thieves. And they are working together for their mutual benefit. You can choose to continue living with Alice in Wonderland, or you can live in Realville with me. Ice-skating uphill. I double dog dare CCOC or attorneys who serve on the CCOC board to file some lawsuits on behalf of unit owners who clearly have a case against their HOA. The only thing a unit owner can do is squeal like a stuck pig. HOAs and their attorneys banquet on unit owners. And we all know there will NEVER be any legislation that has any teeth to stop it.

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