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Coventry Square Condominium Association v. Halpern

August 6, 1981

COVENTRY SQUARE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JEFF HALPERN T/A FIRST WORLD REALTY, CLEARSTREAM UNIFIED EQUITIES, HOWELL EQUITIES & FIRST WORLD INSURANCE CO., DEFENDANTS



Gehricke, P.J.D.C.

Gehricke

This is a suit by the Condominium Association in which it seeks to collect a $225 security deposit per unit from all unit owners who rent their premises to tenants pursuant to a by-law effective as of November 1, 1977.

Defendants resist this demand for a deposit, asserting that there is no statutory sanction for so doing; that the by-law relied on by plaintiff exceeds the authority of the board of directors of the Association to so act and the deposit required is really a special assessment levied against a specially created class of owner.

There are no reported cases in our State on the issues raised in this case.

This condominium consists of 633 units, of which 80 are occupied by tenants. Forty-two of these rented units are owned by two landlords.

In 1977 the board of directors of the Association, acting on what they perceived to be increased maintenance expenses caused by inadequate watering, excessive glass breakage, more frequent pest control and garbage placement on the wrong days at such tenant-occupied units, passed a regulation effective November 1, 1977 requiring that owners of rented units deposit $225 per unit with the Association as security for such increased costs. Defendants acknowledge that they have not deposited any money with plaintiff pursuant to this regulation.

The regulation was passed by the board after several meetings and much discussion among themselves, but without any special notice of their intention to act at their October 12, 1977 meeting.

Cross-examination by defendants' counsel elicited testimony that plaintiff did not seek to regulate owner-occupants in like fashion because they were easily available and could be easily collected from, and the Association wanted to have the benefit of a part of an owner's security received from the tenant.

Interrogatories propounded by defendants (# 5) reveal that there were no specific records kept of non-owner resident damage.

P-1 in Evidence -- the Rules and Regulations of Coventry Square Condominiums provide for the following:

Garbage pick-up , placement at wrong times will be at additional ...


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