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Ask Attyadvisor Your Own Question
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6872
Experience:  29 years of experience in General Practice, Real Estate Law and Estate Law.
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Desuetude by-laws/condo association regulations enforcement

Customer Question

Can by-laws and condo association regulations be enforced in matters regarding collection of dues and fees if there was precedence of non-enforcement of the same in the past?  If collection wasn't enforced for owner(s) in the past, can it be enforced at will again?

Is there a case law regarding desuetude for housing matters in NJ? Is it different from state to state and can one state's case law be used as defense in another state?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 2 years ago.

Welcome and thank you for your question. I will be the professional that will be assisting you.


Each State is governed by their laws. This is for New Jersey


Other State's cases can be used if there is very little or no case law on the subject in your state.

A board is required by law to enforce the bylaws, rules and regulations etc.; In fact a board can be sued to not enforcing the laws.

Is the board arbitrarily enforcing the collection of dues for some owners and not others or this board finally doing their job?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

There are cases when late fees on maintenance dues were not enforced by the association management. There was also a case when the association failed to collect thousands of dollars from an owner who was in default. This was simply dropped.

Now they are trying to collect a late fee where previously they did not.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Expert:  Attyadvisor replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your patience there was a computer glitch.

There is an issue if they are arbitrarily enforcing the bylaws. This known as selective enforcement and is not permitted.

The law that governs condominiums in New Jersey is (N.J. Stat. Ann. § 46:8B-1 et seq.


The board is tasked with the duty to enforce the rules and collect the dues. Failure to do so is a breach of the board’s fiduciary duty to the owners. They do not waive the right to collect the dues, their failure to so is a breach of their duties and opens them up to removal and/or a lawsuit.


If the Board has a habit of not enforcing the bylaws they can be removed from the board, they can be sued or any other action can be taken as specified in your governing documents.

In fact if you can attach your governing documents I would be happy to tell you the remedies provided in your documents.

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