By: Kristie Leff
A resale certificate is a document that is prepared by a condominium association that contains certain required disclosures about the condominium unit and the association. The purpose of the certificate is to provide information to a prospective purchaser of the unit so that the purchaser can make an informed decision about whether to buy the unit.
The required disclosures are set forth in Connecticut General Statues Section 47-270. Among the more noteworthy required disclosures are the following:
In some situations, an association is exempt from the obligation to provide a resale certificate. These exemptions include: if the association contains no more than 12 units, if all units are commercial units, if transfer is by way of foreclosure or deed in lieu of foreclosure, if the transfer is by court order, or if the transfer is for no consideration.
Unless an exemption applies, an association must furnish a resale certificate to the seller of the unit within 10 days of the seller’s request. The association may charge an amount up to $125, plus a statutorily allowed amount for copies, for preparing the certificate. Once the buyer gets the certificate, the buyer has five days to void the contract for purchase of the unit.
When preparing a resale certificate, it is of particular importance that the association includes an accurate statement of the amount of common charges and other fees currently due and payable on the unit. This is because the statute provides that the buyer is not liable for any amounts due on a unit unless they are set forth on the resale certificate. Therefore, if the seller has an outstanding balance due at the time of the sale for common fees, fines, or other assessments, unless the amount is disclosed on the resale certificate, the association no longer has a lien on the unit for those unpaid amounts, and cannot collect them from the new owner.
If a unit is in our office for collection and/or foreclosure, it is important that the association refer any requests for payoffs to our office, so that we can include not just the fees due to the association, but out attorney’s fees as well. The same holds true when preparing resale certificates. If a resale certificate is requested on a unit that is in our office for collection, please indicate such on the resale certificate by stating “contact Bender, Anderson and Barba for amounts due and payable” on the portion of the certificate that asks for this amount. If a resale certificate is provided by the association that does not refer the recipient to our office for the amounts due, or does not contain our attorney’s fees, it puts the association in the unfortunate position of being liable for our attorney’s fees.
If your association has any questions about the statutory requirements for resale certificates, or what information to disclose, please contact our office
The Bender, Anderson and Barba Family would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our friends and clients during this time as well as wish them a happy holiday if they are celebrating this weekend.
By: Kristie Leff, Esq.
Sometimes board members act in a way that is contrary to the best interests of the association, or they may appear to be engaging in self-dealing, favoritism toward their friends, not showing up for board meetings, or not paying their monthly common fees or otherwise flouting expected behavior. The board or unit owners could try asking the board member to resign, but if that does not work, Connecticut law and most bylaws provide a mechanism whereby board members can be removed.
Section 47-261d of the Connecticut Common Interest Ownership Act sets forth the statutory procedure for removing board members. It allows board members elected by unit owners (not those appointed by the declarant during the period of declarant control) to be removed “with or without cause,” meaning there can be a multitude of reasons for removal, or no particular reason at all. According to this statute, the board member can be removed by the vote of a majority of the unit owners present at any unit owner meeting or vote by ballot pursuant to C.G.S. Section 47-252. There must be a quorum of unit owners present in person or by proxy. Also, the statute requires that the subject of removal must be listed in the notice of the unit owner meeting or vote by ballot.
As far as sending notice of the meeting for removal, the statute states that either the board president or a majority of board members can send notice of the meeting to remove the board member(s). However, what if the president or other board members oppose the removal, or are themselves the targets of the removal and refuse to send notice? In that case, Section 47-250(a)(1) provides a method by which unit owners can petition for a special meeting to remove the board member(s). This statute allows unit owners who comprise twenty percent of the voting percentage to request that the board secretary call the meeting. If the board secretary does not call the meeting within fifteen days, then the unit owners may call the meeting themselves by notifying the unit owners and listing the subject of removal on the meeting notice. Subpart (3) of Section 47-250(a) requires that, like all notices of unit owner meetings, the notice of the meeting contain the date, time and place of the meeting, the subject of the meeting, and the notice must be sent not less than 10 days nor more than 60 days before the meeting.
At the meeting, like at all meetings, unit owners are allowed a reasonable opportunity to comment on the issue of removal of the board member(s). In addition, there is a special statutory requirement contained in Section 47-261d(b) that requires that the board member(s) targeted for removal be given a reasonable opportunity to speak before the vote is taken. If the vote is taken by ballot without a meeting, the targeted board member(s) must be given the opportunity to deliver information to the unit owners.
If a majority of the unit owners present in person or by proxy vote in favor of removal, then the board members is considered immediately removed from the board.
It is important to keep in mind that the procedure for removal of board members contained in some associations’ bylaws may differ from the statutory procedure. It is critical that both the statutory and bylaw provisions are properly followed, otherwise the removal my not be effective. Our firm is here to assist with any questions about removal so that your community obtains a board that is representative of its wishes.