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.
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.
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 Although the association eventually rescinded their ban, legislation ensuring these rights was considered necessary.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."