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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 7457
Experience:  Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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I live in a 55 and older condo in NJ. Our by laws state that

Customer Question

I live in a 55 and older condo in NJ. Our by laws state that all homeowners are
entitled to receive results of Board elections. This was not given to the homeowners
during the last election. the Board only posted the names of the board members
elected on a Bulletin Board. I then contacted the atty handling the elections as
well as the Mgmt. co. and requested the info I was entitled to. They sent some but
not all of it. Several months later I get a statement from the mgmt. co. stating I
owe a certain amount of money. No invoice was sent, no reason for the atty fee
stated. I called the mngmt. co. and all they would say was that the Board
authorized the assessment and that it had something to do with the info I requested
months early regarding election results. This is an inappropriate bill and want to
know if I can sue if they do not remove it.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your patience as I researched this.

So I have reviewed both the Condominium Act codified at NJSA at 46:8b et seq and could not find any authorization for the imposition of attorney fees by the board. I have also reviewed case law and could not find any authority.

Basically if bylaws state that the homeowners are entitled to election results, and the board fails to provide that, thereby necessitating the homeowner to contact the attorney, the proper party to incur the charge for the attorney's time in responding to the request would be the association, precisely because the contact was necessitated by the failure of the board to provide the information in accordance with the bylaws. Just because the board authorizes something does not make it legal.

One can sue for the removal of the charge.

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Thank you and take care!

Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Information on filing a complaint with the state is here:

http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/codes/offices/faq_assoc.pdf

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