Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) ushered a significant condominium association bill through the House of Representatives during session late Wednesday night. The bill, which passed unanimously, requires that in order for a condominium community budget to be rejected, a majority of unit owners voting must vote to reject it, instead of a majority of total unit owners. It also requires that the number voting to reject it must exceed 1/3 of the total unit owners. This qualification would prevent small and unrepresentative populations from blocking what would otherwise be a satisfactory budget.
“This bill is meant to protect and enhance the democratic process at Southbury’s Heritage Village and all condominiums throughout the state,” said Rep. O’Neill. “I am grateful for the support I have received from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as well as the early support expressed by the governor’s office for this measure.”
In January Representative O’Neill joined State Senator Rob Kane, and Scott Sandler, President of the Community Associations Institute, for a discussion on the measure he has introduced this year which would provide a more democratic process for unit owners in common ownership communities who vote on budget questions before those communities.
Under current law, common interest community annual budgets and special assessments are approved unless a majority of all unit owners, or a larger number specified in the association’s declaration, votes to reject them. The bill instead provides that a proposed budget or assessment is rejected if a majority of all unit owners participating in the vote rejects it and at least one-third of unit owners entitled to vote on the measure vote to reject it. Otherwise, the budget or assessment is deemed approved.
Under existing law and the bill, the absence of a quorum in the vote does not affect the budget’s or assessment’s approval or rejection.
If the unit owners reject a proposed budget, the last approved budget continues until they approve a subsequent budget. Also, unit owner approval is not required for special assessments that are small relative to the association’s budget unless the declaration or bylaws provide otherwise or needed in an emergency.
The bill, House Bill 6513, AN ACT CONCERNING THE BUDGET AND SPECIAL ASSESSMENT APPROVAL PROCESS IN COMMON INTEREST COMMUNITIES now moves on to the State Senate for action there. This session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns on June 5th, 2013.