Owner wants to withhold condo fees as a protest

T.J. writes:

Dear Paul:

Do I have to pay for expenses the board approves if I do not agree with them or can I just withhold part of my condo fees?

Paul replies:

Dear T.J.:

In short, “No”. The board was duly elected to administer the affairs of the corporation and the board has a duty to do so with the best interest of the community as a whole. Should you withhold the payment of your condo fees, the corporation (the board) will have no other option but to enact collection proceedings up to and including placing a lien on your property. It is best to pay your fees and choose another route to express your dissatisfaction.

Ask yourself if the expenditure is truly a bad decision or is it simply that you would not have made that decision. We all have opinions and will disagree with others’ actions. This does not automatically make them wrong. If the board provides its rationale, you may find yourself in agreement.

The board’s decisions, however, are not absolutely final. If you feel strongly that the board is mismanaging the corporation’s funds you can send a letter to the board and ask it to reconsider. The chances are that the board has already considered various alternatives before striking the annual budget and is unlikely to change direction.

If other owners feel as you do, with the signed request of twenty-five percent of the unit owners (may vary by jurisdiction and governing documents), you could ask for a special meeting of all owners. The Act outlines the process to be followed to make such a meeting happen. At this meeting, it may be possible for the assembled owners to reverse the board’s decision. This is not easy and you should seek legal advice if this is your intention.

There is an old adage that says: “Incompetence in office is the price you pay for not running for office yourself.” You have an opportunity to replace the board at your next AGM. You can run for office yourself. If elected,  you will be able to make decisions that are more in keeping with your line of thinking. Remember that you will not be able to please everyone. All the best!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Anonymous

    This is a great response – very well said and extremely knowledgeable comments.

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