A public hearing has been scheduled for Monday on several proposed bills involving Connecticut condominium laws, including legislation that would require banks to reimburse associations for up to 12 months of maintenance fees in case of foreclosures.
The hearing will start at 10 a.m. by the Judiciary Committee of the state General Assembly in room 2D of the Legislative office building.
One of the more controversial proposals (House Bill 6662) would explicitly require banks in lengthy foreclosure actions to reimburse condo associations for unpaid maintenance fees. This amendment follows decisions by two judges that says that under current state condo laws banks are only required to reimburse the associations for only up to six months.
Lawyers for condo associations say the judges’ decisions would cause great hardship especially for small complexes when banks drag out foreclosures for years. Several large banks are expected to oppose this measure.
Another proposal (House Bill 6666) that is likely to be controversial is one championed by State Rep. James M. Albis (D East Haven), to create a pilot mediation program where for a $250 fee disputes between an association and a condo owner could be heard.
Albis said such a program is necessary because there are no real enforcement mechanisms where condo owners can now take their complaints to. Condo owners now have to file a civil suit to contest acts by boards of associations that violate state condo laws.
The disputes would be heard either in Probate Court or in Small Claims Court.
However, the bill proposes that mediation be voluntary and both the condo association and the condo owner must agree to have the dispute resolved through this process.
Two of the bills would change the amount of votes needed to defeat an annual budget.
Under present law at least 50 percent of the unit owners plus one must vote to reject the budget before it can be voted down.
That law is opposed by a group of condo owners in the state’s largest complex – Heritage Village in Southbury – who advocate that the annual budget be decided by the majority who turn out to vote.
One proposal (Senate Bill 1103) would require a simple majority of those voting to defeat an annual budget. A second proposal (House Bill 6513) would require that at least one third of those eligible to vote, oppose the budget.
Another proposed bill (Senate Bill 1145) would require condo board of directors to make sure that property management companies follow state condo laws and to abide by association bylaws.
That same bill also seeks to insure the condo owners have access to agendas of regularly scheduled meeting at least five days in advance.
For more details on the bills see below.
1. S.B. No. 1101 (RAISED) AN ACT PERMITTING THE AFFIXING OF SECURITY CAMERAS TO UNITS WITHIN A COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITY. (JUD)
2. S.B. No. 1103 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE APPROVAL PROCESS FOR ASSIGNMENTS OF FUTURE INCOME IN COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES. (JUD)
3. S.B. No. 1145 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE COMMON INTEREST OWNERSHIP ACT AND THE CONDOMINIUM ACT. (JUD)
4. H.B. No. 6513 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE BUDGET AND SPECIAL ASSESSMENT APPROVAL PROCESS IN COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES. (JUD)
6. H.B. No. 6662 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE RECOUPMENT OF MONEYS OWED TO A UNIT OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION DUE TO NONPAYMENT OF ASSESSMENTS. (JUD)
8. H.B. No. 6666 (RAISED) AN ACT ESTABLISHING TWO PILOT PROGRAMS FOR THE MEDIATION OF CONDOMINIUM-RELATED DISPUTES AND RELIEVING A COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MANAGER OF ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR CERTIFYING THAT A CONDOMINIUM UNIT OWNER IS COMPLIANT WITH A MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE REQUIRING THE INSTALLATION OF CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS AND SMOKE DETECTORS. (JUD)
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