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Category Archives: New Hampshire

Condominium Board Fines Resident $4500+ for Flowers

I don’t know if Kimberly Bois, of the Portsmouth’s Atlantic Pointe condominiums, New Hampshire, is the nefarious evil doer her condominium board makes her out to be. I mean, if the board doesn’t stop her green thumb, perennial planting, capers – who knows what seeds of chaos and tendrils of civil unrest she may cause to root in her neighbourhood.

Seriously though, the specific perennials that she’s planted (daisies, irises, lavender, hydrangeas and tulips) may be counter to the by-laws and she may very well have to dig them up. I indicate specific perennials, because this sales video shows numerous colourful swaths of flowers when tooling through the condominium complex. There definitely are flowers there.

What I very much object to, and I think Kimberly has a leg to stand on, is the overbearing and unreasonable process of fining that is going on. On 24 October 2011 the board started fining $25/day, and has since increased it to $50/day.

That is completely unreasonable, and a great example of a condominium board – being judge, jury and executioner – attempting to financially bludgeon an owner into cowed submission. I very much think that Ms. Bois should be legally refuting all demands from the board, and use that in front of every judge as a means to be excluded from any judgement against her.

Boards have a duty and a responsibility to act reasonable, especially given the fact they act as the sole body to enforce and punish for condominium by-law infractions. A board failing to respect the powers they have been granted (and that’s not the power to cudgel owners) needs to be rapped on the wrist, turned around, and sent on their merry way.

It’s especially important, as many boards are filled with “regular joes” who, though have the best intentions, fail to act outside of personal emotion and vendetta. There are significantly too many complaints about the mismanagement of board power. Colorado Division of Real Estate recently found:

What we discovered was that the complaints we received primarily involved the board of director’s failure to follow corporate governance rules and procedures of the HOA; the transparency of the board of directors, particularly as it related to the finances of the HOA; and harassment and bullying of homeowners by the board of directors and management company by arbitrary fining, preclusion from providing input into the associations’ affairs, and verbal harassment.

Ahh, that last point is specifically applicable to this situation. The inordinate and unreasonableness of the fine Ms. Bios has received shows it.

The board needs to get their feelings and their actions pruned.