Board must vote on gas service
Q: Our converted condominium originally supplied gas for our ranges. The board has taken it upon themselves to discontinue the gas service. It will require a high percentage of the owners to convert to new electrical wiring and purchase new stoves. The cost for the new service will cost each of the owners more than $1,000. Can the board make this change without the members' input or vote? J.C., Tampa A: In my opinion, this would be a change to the capital improvements and thus need members' approval. The board has a responsibility to maintain the common areas and the services that are supplied to the members from the original conversion. If the board is trying to reduce the expense of this gas service, it isn't their right to just stop the service. From the information in your question, it appears gas is a common expense. Maybe the board could convert each unit so that it has a meter to calculate the unit's usage — but again, that would require the members' vote.The problem with this is that there will be a cost for each meter and then the expense of monthly meter readings and bookkeeping and billing. You may find that this change to add metering is expensive. I suggest the board and members approve a change that in the future, when an owner must add a new stove, he or she must change to an electric stove at that time.
Richard White is a licensed community association manager. He does not offer legal opinions; any other questions and comments concerning association operations can be sent to Richard White, 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., No. 201, Winter Haven FL 33884-4115; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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