Page 18 - New Jersey Cooperator January 2019
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18 THE NEW JERSEY COOPERATOR   —JANUARY 2019  NJCOOPERATOR.COM  board is as bad as you suggest, the board   may not be doing a good job at prepar-  ing annual budgets or evacuating reserve   needs. No matter what, you have an abso-  lute right to know why these assessments   are happening.  “What you probably cannot do, how-  ever, is decide to unilaterally withhold pay-  ments. Th  is may result in a foreclosure ac-  tion being fi led against you or an action for   monetary damages. Seek out legal advice if   things ever come to this drastic point.”  Common Property and the Board  Q  Against the rules that require a   vote to change the use of com-  mon property, my condo board   is now using our paddle-ball court to store   large equipment like pressure washers, etc.   I asked about it at the annual meeting and   they told me to ask the site manager to move   the equipment whenever I want to use the   court. Th  is to me is unacceptable since the   property involved has still changed its pri-  mary use and of course the property man-  ager does not work 24/7 and other ethical   reasons. Also the overall beauty of the area   is compromised. Can I sue and force the as-  sociation to buy back my property for what   I paid for it and possibly include the cost   of improvements I made, and even add in   an index of how much property values in   the area have increased since my purchase?   I need help here. I am not being treated the   same as other residents.”                                —Feeling Ostracized  A  “Generally speaking,” said   attorney  Eric  Mann  of  the   fi rm Hyberg, White & Mann   in Northfi eld, “the board of a condominium   association has the power and authority to   adopt reasonable rules and regulations with   respect to the use of the common property   and the storage of equipment on the pad-  dle-ball court may or may not be against   the rules and regulations of the association.   But not having the ability to review them,   I will assume for the purpose of this ques-  tion that the questioner is correct and that   the board has violated the rules and regula-  tions in this respect.   “Regardless, while there may be appro-  priate legal action that can be taken against   the board for violating the governing docu-  ments with respect to changing the use of   common property, the unit owner does not   have the legal ability to compel the associa-  tion to buy back his property. However, he   would have the ability to bring suit possibly   on a breach of contract, breach of duty, or   negligence  theory  provided  that  he  could   establish that the board's action caused him   fi nancial damage.   “I imagine the questioner would need   to sell his unit or otherwise quantify his   damages and then seek recovery against   the board for the diminution in value of his   unit directly caused by the board's viola-  tion of the rules.   “Lastly, the questioner's claim that he   is not being treated the same as other resi-  dents is not clear and no context is given   from which I can make a determination as   to his disparate treatment.”                          n  Q&A  continued from page 5    Do you have an issue   with your board? Are you   wondering how to solve a dispute with   a neighbor? Can’t fi nd information you   need about a building’s fi nances? Our   attorney advisors have the answers to all   of your legal questions. Write to The New   Jersey Cooperator and we’ll publish your   question, along with a response from   one of our attorney advisors. Questions   may be edited for taste, length and   clarity. Send your questions to: david@  Q&A  Disclaimer: Th  e answers provided in this Q&A   column are of a general nature and cannot   substitute for professional advice regarding your   specifi c circumstances. Always seek the advice of   competent legal counsel or other qualifi ed profes-  sionals with any questions you may have regard-  ing technical or legal issues.  complex in Little Ferry forced the displace-  ment of residents, according to Northjersey.  com. Th  e fi re originated in a kitchen in one   of the two buildings of Ledgewood Terrace   and spread through the ventilation system,   resulting in emergency crews having to open   the roofs of both buildings, said a represen-  tative for the complex. Th  e number of resi-  dents who evacuated from the complex’s 24   apartments was unclear, and the Red Cross   was there to help the aff ected. Meanwhile, a   fi re at a Woodbridge condo unit injured one   person and forced the evacuation of several   residents, WABC  reported. Th  e December   4 blaze occurred at the Hillside Gardens in   Woodbridge during the late evening, and left    one person with a minor injury. At the time   of the article’s publication, the cause of the   blaze was being investigated.   Report: Lawn Mower Fumes at Bergen   County Condo Claim a Life reported that a landscaper died   and another person was hospitalized aft er   being overcome by fumes at a Bergen County   condominium. According to authorities,   the two men were discovered unresponsive   at  the Washington  Pond Condominium   Complex in Bergen County. Th  ey were   PULSE  continued from page 4  With locations in Northern and Central NJ  Visit us on the web at | 201.560.0900  Wilkin Management Group, Inc.  30 Years of History  Wilkin Management Group, Inc.ilkin Management Group, Inc.  Visit us on the web at | 201.560.0900  W  For over 30 years, Wilkin Management Group   has held to an unshakeable corporate philosophy   of Creating Value for Our Clients.  Our People, Process and Performance demonstrates  an un-wavering commitment to do so.

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