CCOC Has Historic Meeting With CAI, Agree To Work Together For Condo Owners

In what some may consider a historic event in Connecticut condo politics, executives of the Connecticut Condo Owners Coalition (CCOC) and executives of the Connecticut Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) met last week. Gail Egan, CCOC President expressed delight that both organizations came away from the meeting, with a mutual agreement to develop a working relationship that will benefit all condo owners.

While CCOC represents individual condo owners and CAI represents, for the most part, condo management companies, condo board of directors, and condo attorneys, during the 90 minute meeting both organizations wholly agreed that it is in the interest for each of their membership base to work toward assisting condo owners residing in common interest communities.

All present at the meeting concurred that education needs to be a critical focus for all individuals involved in condo issues.

Real estate agents need to be educated on the importance of telling potential condo owners of what it is like to live in a condo environment where there are strict rules governing conduct, maintenance, and structural uniformity.

Condo owners need to be educated to fully understand what their rights and responsibilities are as stated in the declaration, bylaws, and rules governing their association. Unit owners should be encouraged to attend board meetings, to be knowledgeable regarding the in the operation of their association and management of their complex, and to receive and read the meeting packets provided at each board meeting.

Condo boards must also be educated on state laws governing condominiums and the mandates that require boards be fair and transparent providing unit owners the right to participate in board meetings; have access to the same materials that are distributed at executive board meetings, with certain exceptions; and receive notice of board meetings.

CCOC and CAI also agreed to continue to discuss potential legislation that they may jointly support or oppose.

The CCOC will regularly update CAI on areas of concern for unit owners. In addition, CCOC will encourage its members to attend educational sessions hosted by the CAI and CAI will encourage its members to read Most importantly both organizations agreed to keep the lines of communications open to benefit all condo owners.

Kim McClain, CAI Chapter Executive Director, issued the following statement:

On October 11, members of Community Associations Institute – Connecticut met with the new leadership of the Concerned Condo Owners Coalition of Connecticut.  We quickly discovered that the new CCOC leadership team shares many of the same goals as CAI-CT:  supporting education for both unit owners and board members; and promoting transparency in association operations.

Our discussion was quite lively.  We covered many of the issues which members of community associations continually confront.  We agreed to work together to develop educational programs which help to inform unit owners.  There was also agreement on several legislative issues.  We will continue to seek opportunities where we can work together to cultivate healthy communities throughout our state.


7 Responses to CCOC Has Historic Meeting With CAI, Agree To Work Together For Condo Owners

  1. Anne & Francis Kennedy Jr says:

    I for one think this is a great step forward!
    I’d like to thank CCOC and its entire board for the forward looking cooperation that hasn’t been around for a long time!
    In addition, I want to thank CAI and its entire board for its outlook also!
    Only though education and mutual respect can things really change!
    Anne & Francis Kennedy Jr

  2. Veritas says:

    I agree with this article and congratulations on moving forward. Being a licensed realtor ( condo owner & board member) I can attest that many real estate colleagues do not spend enough (or any) time informing their clients about condo living. It is a way of life and not for everyone. Sometimes the low price and lack of maintenance responsibilty for the owner is what attracts some folks to condos and they neglect to think about restrictions or rules. Other times parents find it a less expensive way to have their kids move out and “let someone else deal with them.” The reasons or many, but the results are often the same. Folks who resent and reject any type of rule being imposed on them; when they actually signed on to the rules at the closing table.
    There is currently a small booklet about lead paint that is given to buyers when they purchase a home constructed prior to 1978. This same type booklet should be given to buyers when the condo documents are given to them. But the purchase of a condo must be discussed over and over again with the buyer and real estate agent for the transition to be successful. Our association has one made up and we are in the process of having it voted on for approval. Education is the key here and lots of it!!

  3. Remaining anonymous says:

    I am absolutely thrilled that these 2 fine groups have finally gotten together at a roundtable. As a condominium owner for the past number of years I have been literally fraught with issues here at my complex. In fact, from day ONE. I now know that the previous owner did not disclose to me (although I questioned many times) whether the Board addressed upkeep and maintenance issues ongoing. Well, I was fooled — I am now stuck in a small complex that is not being upkept and is going to need MAJOR work next year due to the fact of the incompetence of the Board. The Board has secret meetings which are not open to others although I asked to be notified. I was simply told they are usually held in the driveway on a random basis. This is just one law broken. I was told once if I didn’t like this that I should just move out. I am so glad that CCOC has been receptive to my questions from time to time and I couldn’t be more thrilled to hear of this meeting. As I doubt there will ever be an Ombudsman to go to, I thought my only other choice was to seek expensive legal counsel. I even called the Attorney General’s office three years ago to discuss a dilemma here at the Complex and his Assistant phoned me back. He laughed (no kidding) and said there was no way they could help me and I would have to seek an attorney’s advice. So bottom line — I am disgusted with no Board member competent enough to talk to me and I have to live with my investment losing $ due to their lack of maintenance. When I moved in 5 years my condo was in pristine condition and today the siding is falling off, the trim is rotted, gutters are in bad shape, garage doors need painting, my front door’s paint has patches of paint falling off daily and the outside fencing has not been fixed since before I moved and clearly needs repairs. Thankfully CCOC is on board with listening to the condominium owner as it has surely been a lonely ride for me before them. I would like to see it mandatory for Association’s Boards be held accountable for not complying with their Bylaws and the updated Condominium laws.

  4. Good for you – I bought a condo a year ago and was shocked at the us and them mentality of the board, management, lawyers and the rest of us – I could see the value of both of your groups but felt frustrated you all were on different sides of the fence too – so I am really proud of you for coming together . As a Realtor I have learned so much about condos by being an owner – and want to continue to educate everyone I know – thank you for being such a great resource for us all !! Could you give some advice to Congress? (smile) Blessings!

  5. Josea says:

    This is all well and good and hopefully condo owners will have additional resources to help them with difficult problems, however, one of the main problems I see is when board members do not adhere to the bylaws and there is nothing owners can do for fear of retaliation. I don’t know what the CCOC or CAI can do about that.

    • CondoCaptive says:

      You hit the nail on the head. Any consideration that this is a groundbreaking alliance may be premature. Time will tell but I, like you, am skeptical and not quite ready to join the bandwagon to applaud this as a major breakthrough yet.

      You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. And property managers we hire need education? That is so cynical if true! How amoral and lawless can condos potentially get when professional people fail to ensure the Boards they represent follow the law.

      The day that the CAIC rewrites its mission statement and actually lobbies or helps to craft laws that are enforceable is the day I will believe they are
      a genuine and viable ally that will provide real, lasting solutions.

      This is not to say that I don’t commend or appreciate CCOC’s efforts. Time will tell as to whether this meeting of the minds will help all unit owners, not just the lucky ones, who have good community-minded neighbors who want to learn.

  6. Laura T. says:

    Thank you CCOC for all your efforts including this historic meeting with CAI! We appreciate the work you do in helping to create a fair and just environment for all condo owners.

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