Most condominium bylaws give boards the power to impose fines on unit-owners who break the house rules. However, a condo board’s power to levy fines is limited, and the courts cannot be relied on to enforce the collection of fines. There’s a fine art to making condo fines stick.
“Condo boards have it much tougher than co-op boards when it comes to enforcing the rules, because they don’t have the power to evict,” says Bruce Cholst, a shareholder at the law firm Anderson Kill. “In order to enforce and collect fines, they have only two ways to go. They can get a court order (an injunction), which is not much more than a fancy piece of paper saying, for instance, ‘Thou shalt not make noise.’ Should the unit-owner not comply, the judge could hold that person in contempt of court, but only in theory. In reality that rarely happens. The other way is to levy the fines, and the build-up might work as a deterrent.”
To read the full article: The Fine Art of Making Fines Stick