Guest Post by UPC Condo Owner
At the latest HOA Board meeting, we witnessed yet another misguided attempt to assist a resident with a problem. In this case, an owner with an oversized non-motorized trike was given permission by the Board to store the trike in another owner’s parking space.
What is wrong with helping one of our neighbors with a problem, especially with a solution that doesn’t seem to affect anyone else and that is mutually agreeable to both owners? What is wrong is that the Board once again has given permission to violate a bylaw, in this case actually two sections of the bylaws: Section 7.14 (“Parking units are restricted to use for parking of operative motor vehicles…”) and Section 7.13 (“Other than items placed by the Declarant or the Association, no furniture, packages or objects of any kind shall be placed in the lobbies, vestibules, public halls, stairways, or any other part of the Parking Units or Common Elements, except as allowed in Section 7.”)
In another recent case, an owner was given permission by the Board to store a ladder in a common area, also a violation of bylaws. Also under consideration by the Board is a cap on rental terms, a potential violation of bylaws.
As a community of owners, we all share common purposes and interests and there is a natural desire to help one’s neighbors when possible. At the same time, the slow but steady encroachment on the bylaws should be a concern to all owners as well as prospective owners. If you don’t like the bylaws, change them. But in the case of repeatedly advocating and implementing solutions to problems that clearly violate bylaws , the cure is worse than the illness. You cannot pick and choose which bylaws to uphold and which to ignore. A code of bylaws that is selectively enforced has no force as bylaws.