Responding to Your Concerns

March 20, 2013

Each week, I try to incorporate much of what we are focusing on at the state legislature to keep you informed. Now that we are about halfway through the current session, many legislators have been inundated with emails and calls from concerned constituents about a wide array of issues. In this week’s column, I would like to address some of the emails I have been recently receiving about legislation that would change state laws affecting those who live in community associations.

According to the Connecticut Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, community associations are made up of several different living arrangements, including condominiums, homeowners associations, real estate cooperatives, planned unit developments and reciprocal easement regimes. In 1983, the Connecticut General Assembly passed the first state law in the entire nation that unified and modernized the laws affecting common interest communities. Over the years, additional legislative changes have been made regarding training, insurance, sales and other issues.

During this year’s session, there are two proposals that have come up for consideration, and I have recently received many emails in response. Because many residents of the Farmington Valley live in condominiums or homeowners associations, I am always interested in hearing from constituents and understanding the issues that could potentially affect where we live.

First, the Judiciary Committee is considering House Bill 6513, An Act Concerning the Budget and Special Assessment Approval Process in Common Interest Communities. This bill would change the voting requirements that govern the rejection or approval of proposed budgets and special assessments by unit owners who live in common interest communities.

Currently, a proposed budget or special assessment may be rejected by a vote of a majority of all unit owners present at a meeting or a majority of an otherwise previously specified quorum. This change would require a majority of at least one-third of all unit owners to vote on the proposed budget or special assessment. If fewer than one-third vote at the meeting, it cannot be rejected. While the Judiciary Committee voted to draft the bill, there has not yet held a public hearing for the proposal.

Second, the Insurance and Real Estate Committee is considering House Bill 6477, An Act Concerning the Statutory Lien for Assessments on a Condominium Unit. This bill would extend the number of months from six to 12 for which common expense assessments due to the community association may be counted for the purposes of a lien.

In some cases, other unit owners would be required to pay an additional amount to maintain the units in foreclosure. This change would allow community associations to collect additional funds from the foreclosure proceedings on a unit to lessen this burden. The committee held a public hearing on March 5th and the proposal now awaits further action.

Each week, I try to keep you informed of what is occurring at the state legislature. Some issues may be more specific than others, but they can have an impact on our daily lives. If passed, these two proposals would make changes to current law affecting community associations. To learn more about these issues, please visit the Connecticut Chapter of the Community Associations Institute website at