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DC Councilmember Proposes Bill to Strengthen Rights of Condo Owners

by UrbanTurf Staff

On Tuesday, DC Councilmember Anita Bonds introduced the “Condominium Owner Bill of Rights Amendment Act of 2015”, legislation that aims to provide greater protections to condominium owners in the city.

Specifically, the bill would require mediation before a condominium board in a building is allowed to foreclose on one of the unit owners. According to a release, it would also “strengthen the ethical and fiduciary obligations of condo board officers and members” although more specific details of this provision were not provided. A condominium bill of rights would also be required to be given to the owner when they move into the unit.

“Across the District, thousands and thousands of residents are governed by condo associations with varying degrees of experience, knowledge, and intent,” explained Councilmember Bonds. “This bill will establish a uniform statement of owners’ rights and assist condominium owners by guaranteeing them greater protections under law.”

UrbanTurf has reached out to Councilmember Bonds’ office to get more details on the bill.

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/dc_councilmember_proposes_bill_to_strengthen_rights_of_condo_owners/10483

5 Comments

  1. skidrowedc@gmail.com said at 2:54 pm on Wednesday October 21, 2015:

    I suppose it’s consistent that a city which makes it almost impossible to evict delinquent tenants now wants to make it almost impossible to get rid of delinquent condo owners.  All landlords are greedy rich people who can easily absorb years of lawyers’ fees despite nonpayment of rent, right?  Aren’t condo boards essentially the same?  [For those who can’t detect irony: the previous 2 sentences are ironic.  Nowadays you gotta be sure, unfortunately.]

    Councilman Bonds needs to make her case.  So far, this strikes me as a solution in search of a problem.  And a solution that’s very likely to have unintended consequences.

  1. Leonard said at 5:08 pm on Wednesday October 21, 2015:

    I “TOTALLY” agree with skidrowdc!  This is ridiculous.  I manage many condominiums in DC and some owners have found ways to keep from going to foreclosure for almost 5 years!  Guess who pays the legal bills in the interim??? Who is Anita Bonds and when will this go to vote as I want to vehemently oppose it!!!

  1. no said at 9:13 pm on Wednesday October 21, 2015:

    DC stooping to the lowest common denominator yet again. If someone buys into a Condo Association they know the rule & regulations of the association and that of there mortgage requirements. If they can’t afford to pay there mortgage & condo fees to stay, than it’s time to move, sell, or rent it.  Survival of the fittest.  Work hard and learn to save for the rainy day (it always comes), don’t spend money you don’t have, be financially responsible. If you can’t afford to buy, don’t. There is no shame in renting.  (and as a tenant you don’t pay rent you don’t have to move for a very long time).

  1. katydid13 said at 10:39 am on Thursday October 22, 2015:

    What is there to mediate about nonpayment of condo fees?  Threatening to foreclose is the only way we get a couple of residents to pay.  And these are investors who don’t live on site, they aren’t going to be homeless.

    I guess if there are condo boards that can move to foreclosure over things like door decorations or the noise complaints of crazy people this might be useful, but not nonpayment of fees.

  1. Mike_in_SW said at 4:05 pm on Saturday October 24, 2015:

    This legislation was introduced 10/20/2015 to the full Council (“Committee of the Whole”) and referred the same day to the Committee on Housing and Community Development).  It was assigned bill number B21-0443.  The last time something like this was attempted was by former Councilmember James Nathanson, Ward 3, when he was drafting similar legislation in 1992.  Through the work of the DC Cooperative Housing Coalition, the Community Associations Institute, and the (now defunct) Association of DC Condominium Boards, that proposed legislation was defeated before it was ever introduced.  When he was asked why he was drafting such legislation, Mr. Nathanson said he had gotten a complaint from “one cooperative owner and one or two owners of condominiums.” Do any of the current councilmembers live in either a condo or co-op?  I seriously doubt they have any understanding or appreciation about delinquent owners and how those delinquencies affect their fellow co-owners and their associations.  I guess it’s time to contact Ms. Bonds and the other councilmembers and ask, what problem are they trying to address and how big is it? I dare say it’s no greater than what Mr. Nathanson reported in 1992 and the proposed legislation should be withdrawn for the reasons others have already provided and more.  Every individual condo and co-op owner should contact their councilmember and voice their opposition to this legislation and support the work the DCCHC and CAI may have to provide in order to stop this bad legislation.

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