Ct General Assembly Passes Two Important Condo Owners Protection Bills

Sen. Rob Kane (left) and Rep. Arthur O'Neill (right) speak with Heritage Village residents during a public question and answer session last year. The two were instrumental in getting the legislation passed.

The Connecticut General Assembly passed two important bills late last night that will help protect condo owners as well as make condo associations more democratic.

The two bills – 5511 and 5536 – have been sent to the governor and the Connecticut Condo Owners Coalition (CCOC) said it hopes that he will sign both.

The CCOC fought hard for both bills (explained in more detail at the bottom):

5511 would eliminate the requirement that more than 50 percent of condo owners must vote AGAINST a special assessment or annual budget for it to be defeated. The bill only applies to Heritage Village, in Southbury, with more than 2,400 units, because that is where the issue was particularly crucial.

5536 requires condo associations to allow small religious signs on individual owners’ doors. That issue is important because one condo association fined a Jewish owner because she violated the association rules by having a small Mezuzah on her door.

5536 also provides for new educational requirements and background checks for condo property managers. That is important because it will help assure that professionals hired by or working with condo owners will adhere to a high standard of conduct in their powerful positions working with condo associations.

“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.”

“CCOC worked hard with both Democrats and Republicans on these issues,” Harte said.  “We were able to gain support for passage of HB5536 inclusive of a vast majority of all language we requested.  HB5511 was meeting heavy resistance from the House Majority and discretion and compromise came into play.  While we did not get every aspect of language approved that we requested, we were able to assist Heritage Village.

“We would like to publicly thank the efforts of:  Rep. Themis Klarides, 114th Dist., Rep. Len Greene, 105th Dist., Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill, 69th Dist., Rep. James M. Albis, 99th Dist., Sen. Andrew W. Roraback, 30th Dist., Sen. Paul R. Doyle, 9th Dist., Rep. David Aldarondo, 75th Dist., Rep. Jeffrey J. Berger, 73rd Dist., Rep. Linda Gentile, 104th Dist., Rep. Gregory Haddad, 54th Dist., Rep., James M. Crawford, 35th Dist., Rep. Dan Carter, 2nd Dist., Rep. Elaine C. O’Brien, 61st Dist., Sen. Gary D. LeBeau, 3rd Dist., Sen. Andrea L. Stillman, 20th Dist., Sen. Beth Bye, 5th Dist., Sen. Edward Meyer, 12th Dist., Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, 17th Dist., Sen. Anthony J. Musto, 22nd Dist., Sen. Edwin A. Gomes, 23rd Dist. and all other honorable Representatives, Senators and Committees for your tireless work, consistent communication with us and support of each of these bills.”

Any condo owner can sign up to be members of the CCOC by simply clicking here and answering a couple of questions. “The more members we have the more we can help,” Harte said.

Harte said that the CCOC will now focus on building its membership, getting input from members, and improving communications with all condo owners.

Sen. Rob Kane (left) and Rep. Arthur O'Neill (right) speak with Heritage Village residents during a public question and answer session last year. The two were instrumental in getting the legislation passed.

DISCLOSURE:

CtWatchdog Editor & Publisher George Gombossy owns condos and recently joined the CCOC executive committee.

MORE SPECIFICS OF BILLS

HB-5536 AN ACT CONCERNING CERTIFICATION AS A COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGER, LICENSURE AS A REAL ESTATE BROKER OR SALESPERSON AND THE DISPLAY OF AN OBJECT RELATED TO A RELIGIOUS PRACTICE OR BELIEF ON THE DOOR OR DOOR FRAME OF A CONDOMINIUM UNIT.
Property Manager Certification – mandatory; must pass nationally recognized examination for new property managers, property managers with 10 years or less working as such, and continuing education for all PM’s.  Must pass criminal background check.  Bill also allows for the display of religious items on exterior doors / door frames of condo units.

HB-5511,  AN ACT CONCERNING THE BUDGET, SPECIAL ASSESSMENT AND ASSIGNMENT OF FUTURE INCOME APPROVAL PROCESS IN COMMON INTEREST OWNERSHIP COMMUNITIES.
f) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, adoption of a proposed budget for any association of a common interest community, or a master association as defined in section 47-239 exercising the powers on behalf of one or more common interest communities or for the benefit of the unit owners of one or more common interest communities, which community or communities were established prior to July 3, 1991, and have more than two thousand four hundred residential units, — If, at that meeting or in the vote by ballot, a majority of the unit owners voting votes to reject the budget, the budget shall be rejected, provided not less than thirty-three and one-third per cent of the unit owners entitled to vote on the proposed budget, vote at that meeting or in the vote by ballot to reject the budget. If, at that meeting or in the vote by ballot, a majority of the unit owners voting does not vote to reject the budget, the budget shall be approved.

Same language applies for special assessments for communities of that size.

 

Click here to sign up to be members of the Ct Condo Owners COALITION (CCOC)

leading the movement for transparency and democracy in condo governance

 

 

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1 Comment on "Ct General Assembly Passes Two Important Condo Owners Protection Bills"

  1. Francisco Ribas | March 1, 2013 at 8:37 am |

    I have a mold issue in my condo that has been investigated and documented by the Associations insurance company. It was found that water is entering my unit from the outside, either cracks in the brick facade or from the siding. This week with the heavy rains I have had another leak/wet spot appear where the previous wet stains and mold are growing. The Condo Board was informed of this in August of 2012 and has not acted on it except to tell me that they will look into it. It has been 7 months and the walls on that side of my unit which is an exterior wall are bulking, the joints are opening up, the wallpaper is liftin only on that wall. I removed a painting that was hanging on that exterior wall and there was mold behind it. Who can I contact for help in getting my condo board to step up and seal the cracks in the exterior siding?

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