Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/15/2008 - 15:20
I was the first to buy and have now been in my condo for nearly two years. The original owner of the building is still finishing the last four units. Construction has gone on for over three years and the construction people are not using precautions to prevent dust and debris, they smoke in the common areas and haven't completed stated requirements in mine and most of the other owners’ closing documents. Under Massachusetts law,
1) Who starts a condo association, and how?
2) How do we make the construction people comply with our laws, and how do we get them to follow through on the requests in our closing documents?
-- (Posted by Jim on the Forum Chat Room)
(The following response was posted by attorney Lisa Sigman of Wakefield.) The condo documents (by-laws & trust) should include a provision about the turn over event (either triggered by a percentage of units sold, or by the passage of a prescribed time period). At that point the association turns over from the builder/owner to the unit owners. The initial trustees/declarant should initiate the process. If the turn over event is about to happen or should have already occurred, contact the builder/declarant/original trustees to get the ball rolling. New trustees will need to be appointed/elected according to the bylaws and the appropriate documentation will have to be recorded with the registry of deeds.
A word of caution: abuse of the power vested in association trustees is common. It is a good idea to hire an attorney to provide, at least, initial instruction on the responsibilities of trustees as the new board takes over. As for the issues caused by the workers in the building - call the declarant/builder to address them. It is their responsibility.