Absolutely yes! And not just any attorney. The Board needs an attorney experienced in condominium and property law. Can you imagine the Board of Directors of a major corporation not having an attorney? If they make a mistake, the company loses money. If the Association makes a mistake, someone may lose his or her home. Anticipating and responding to legal risks and problems is serious business when a community of homeowners is depending on you. It would be foolish indeed for a condominium board never to consult an attorney.
Absolutely not! Some attorney prefer a wait and see approach or a "we just can't do anything about it" approach.
Unfortunately in a condominium assocation, the failure to enforce the lien teaches the owners that not paying will save them money.
The deadbeats will never pay, relying on a payoff upon sale and the good owners will feel cheated.
Some of them may even stop paying because of the unfairness. It is a better policy, and the only prudent course, to enforce the rules
and the budget immediately and evenhandedly. For a detailed explanation, read Mr. Heuser's recent article:
Why Delay is Imprudent for Condominium Boards
Most associations need to consult with an attorney only rarely. Our office works with many associations. Once the Board has gotten organized and put the right procedures in place the usual procedures will involve referring the delinquent owners to the attorneys usually at no cost to the association. A well written Master Deed provides that owners who violate the rules pay the cost of enforcing the rules.
Generally the Board must conduct its affairs as a prudent businessman would do. Certainly a prudent businessman seeks the advice of professionals whenever needed. An attorney, a CPA and an experienced property manager can make managing an association very easy. In short, it is nearly always more efficient to use a property manager, and an attorney and a CPA. Our experienced attorneys can help you find the right people. Use our Contact Form or call us at (502) 458-5879.
The most cost-saving thing a Board can do is conduct its affairs properly and enforce the rules swiftly and fairly, and provide in the Master Deed that the violators bear the cost of enforcing the rules!
An Association must maintain a Record Book. In that book should be kept a variety of documents. Realize that the legal forms must be tailored to the specific facts and do not use generic forms without proper legal guidance. By way of general background only, for examples of the various forms used in condominiums associations, look here: Sample Forms.
Recently the S. Carolina Supr. Ct. in a rambling and whiney opinion
castigated an association and foreclosure purchaser, and voided a foreclosure sale because the sale amount was too low.
Stripped of all the drive-by commentary, the holding consists of a sentence:
A non-smoking condo owner got steamed over the neighbors smoke and sued the association
claiming her "asthma" was a protected disability, the smoke was a nuisance and the board was required to prohibit it.
Reminding the Plaintiff that property rights are still important and that not every discomfort
is a protected disability, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal by the district Court.