Accountability Matters

“The Condominium documents are, in and of themselves, meaningless if no one is willing to follow and enforce their contents against those who could care less.”

Since the launch of LibertyCommons.Info in late-January 2012, there have been over 192,611 all time views, over 39,936 visitors and over 605 followers through email and social media, as independently verified by a third-party. These are quite impressive metrics for such a “focused topic” of Liberty Commons Condominium Trust, a 132-unit condominium association in Leominster, Massachusetts, located along Old Mill Road between Jungle Road and Willard Street, with two private internal roads of 1-183 Berrington Road (116 units) and 2-32 Gates Crossing (16 units). These metrics only continue to increase, even with very limited posts, since January 28, 2019. Based upon the search metrics, we are aware that people are continuing to read new blog posts and are research various topics and concerns.

We are also aware that at least one other local condominium association is using LibertyCommons.Info as a “template” to replicate the successes achieved at Liberty Commons Condominium Trust, due to the efforts of two past Presidents and a number of concerned Unit Owners who initially took proactive action to promote needed positive and transformative change, which is quite the compliment. Therefore, it was decided to publicly share these metrics to inspire and encourage other Unit Owners to consider taking action to build awareness of concerns and enable change for their own condominium association, such as a public-facing web-platform with various components, email communications, etc.

“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.”

Positive and transformative change, in most cases can take years to accomplish due to the dependency of the people involved. If you decide to take on the challenge of enacting change, please understand that you will probably meet resistance from individuals who want change themselves, but are afraid to move forward. A small percentage of people (±5%) will always resist and fight change of any kind, even if it is in the majorities’ best interests and their own. However, if you are persistent, consistent, do your own due diligence1 and understand your Condominium documents,2 you will likely achieve success and most-likely make progress toward the positive and transformative changes you desire for your condominium association. Keep in mind, without risks, there are no rewards.

It requires very little effort to be apathetic and to complain. However, it is much harder to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty, to actually make a positive difference for your condominium association and yourself.

It is up to each and every legal Unit Owner, as it has always been, to hold its Board of Trustees, Managing Agent, Unit Owners and Non-Owner Residents accountable to the Condominium documents and all other applicable laws, statutes, regulations, ordinances, etc., or not.

It is a very personal decision to step up and hold individuals accountable to their obligations and fiduciary duties. If you choose to do nothing and expect that someone else will resolve any legitimate concerns that you may have, then don’t criticize or complain about the results or consequences that may come from such a decision.

When evaluating your personal level of participation in your condominium association, a very important factor to consider is that as a legal Unit Owner, you are financially and legally invested in and tied to the condominium association’s debts, liabilities and operating costs. The decisions, good or bad, by your Board of Trustees and any of their actions or inactions do have implications for all Unit Owners. Negligent leadership or poor decisions can result in significant and unanticipated costs for each and every Unit Owner. It is very important to have a knowledgeable, professional, strong and cohesive Board of Trustees, as without these traits, there could be inherent exposure. Additionally, malicious Unit Owners and Non-Owner Residents can also significantly increase the operating costs of any condominium association, therefore, strong and consistent enforcement actions are highly important to the overall well-being and health of any condominium association.

1 It is important to do your own due diligence. Do not simply reply upon your Board of Trustees to be knowledgeable in any aspect of condominium management, as Trustees are in most cases unpaid volunteers with no prior experience or expertise, and therefore, even though they may speak with “authority” they may actually be expressing their own “opinions” that are not based upon actual “facts” and could have a personal agenda or bias.
2 Condominium documents are the legal basis for the legal obligations and operation of the Condominium and are typically customized to each individual condominium association and the obligations set forth dovetail across the complete document set. Therefore, you need to thoroughly read and comprehend the entire set of the Condominium documents and the applicable laws to be fully informed, as one sentence, paragraph, section, etc. may not provide all of the relevant information or obligation. What may be permitted or restricted at one condominium may not be at another.

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