Ask Atty. Pat: Can A Board Adopt An Update To The Declaration?

Hi Pat
A question:  So the board here has drafted new rules and bylaws for the complex.

I was told by a board member that it’s only the board that gets to vote on these two documents.  Is that correct?

And are there new laws saying a condo complex has to update their Declaration?

 Normally only a board vote is required to amend bylaws and rules. That said, the board can not change the qualifications and terms of board members without a unit owner vote. There are a few other exceptions. Also, the provisions of the bylaws and rules can not conflict with the declaration. There are also limitations on what a board can control within a unit.

No law requires an update of units. Amendments to the Common Interest Ownership Act have superseded old document provisions or added new requirements. It is important to know the new law. Some lawyers propose using a list of the changed provisions. I find that these “layovers” confuse owners.  It is better to have a unit owner vote to make necessary changes to the declaration and a board meeting to change the bylaws and rules.

Pat Ayars is a Glastonbury attorney who specializes in condo issues. She is a member of the Connecticut Condo Association Advisory Committee.


6 Responses to Ask Atty. Pat: Can A Board Adopt An Update To The Declaration?

  1. John Smith says:


    Could you please site the current Connecticut statues which allow the board can change the bylaws without a referendum by unit owners?

    At our association both the declaration and bylaws changes must be voted on by unit owners. The board as well as individual unit owners may propose changes.

    Our association was founded in 1971. Our governing documents were recently revised by legal counsel and passed by referendum and there is no provision allowing the board to change the bylaws without a referendum.

    The rules, however, may be changed by the board itself without a referendum.



  2. phill says:

    hi pat…could you advise?,,,I live at ************* condos in Rocky Hill,Ct….our issue is multi-faceted so I hope I can get this all out in one short letter to you. We have a serious erosion issue that has caused one building to be evacutated per the town of rocky hill..and we have at least 3-4 more buildings that are along the edge of a “sand and silt”..{we had it tested}..almost vertical slide which contains hog area of wetlands which is the main reason for the land erosion. the condo board wants to spend about a million dollars to put up a retaining wall…on top of the sand and silt base in the wetlands section to “avoid further erosion”..BUT..and its a biggy….the town of Rocky Hill has also green lighted the foundry project..which will have a park and 5 condos build along the ct. river…the last building.. building #5,will be built on stilts do to water flooding under and around it from the Ct. river….that building will be adjacent to hog brook..and the plans..which I have attached and been approved by the towns planning and zoning commission per the mayor..{I have a few emails from him if you need them about this very issue}..if you go to the web site>……you will see a full size map showing how they intend to remove the dike at the end of hog brook…if you read the attached document the town has ok’ed for this project..and read the following sections:page 2- setion1.0-site conditions,,,,page 5-section 3.2.4-flood plains,,,and page 6 section-3.4 sedation and erosion,,,,they state that they will be increasing the size of the flood plain…allowing more water to flow back up hog brook…and that alone will create more erosion! recap…our “broken,fix-it” condo board has hired an engineer to design some kind of wall…to be placed in hog brook..on sand and be flooded repeatedly…at owner expense!..the breakdown is at least $50 dollars a month more to our condo fee for 7 years. when I argued that whose who are strictly owners/renter/investors they will just pass that cost onto the renter..we,who live there…and many are elderly with fixed incomes will have to bare the brunt of these new costs..with zero guarrentee that this entire project will solve this issue forever!. mother nature has been at for a few thousand years…with the building of that huge condo complex along the river..and the existing soil content issue…I don’t see why we have to even vote on this issue…this exact thing was allowed to happen in Washington..state where a landslide killed 130 people who were all worried about the value of the homes..and refused to leave..even tried “the wall to stop it all”approach..they just found the last missing body 2 weeks ago…dug that mudslide!-HELP!!! I think the board has overstepped its bounds,,this is not some issue like fix leaky roofs…or damaged or old water pipes…snow plowing or termites…this may end up being something that is outrageously expensive and extremely dangerous to those they are trying to put back in their condos,,possibly their lives!!…

  3. phill says:

    “Severe erosion of the Hog Brook bank was noted as a problem in 1998, during a review by environmental consultants with the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S Department of Agriculture”…when we bought in 2012…nt one thing was mentioned to our bank from the management company about this will cost us all over 4 grand over the next 7 years!….was this fraud at its finest?

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