Q Last year the parents of several teens purchased a portable basketball standard and asked the board permission to put it in a location where their children can use it and the board agreed. Given the layout of our property the only place to put it is near an entrance to a parking garage. Predictably some residents complained of the noise but it was soon winter and the standard was stored away. At the last meeting the board gave a verbal direction to the management to have the building staff put the standard back in place. Doesn’t the board have a responsibility to issue a policy or can they just tell the owners it is ok to use the common element space as they want? Does the management company have a responsibility to advise the board that permission to use the common elements for the benefit of a sub-group of residents should be covered by a policy?
A “Assuming the condominium is in Massachusetts, the board generally does not have the right to provide the exclusive use common area to a unit owner without compliance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 183A which requires, among other things, permission of the adjoining owners,” says attorney Charles Perkins of the law firm of Perkins & Ancil in Westford, MA. “The other issue, of course, is whether the portable basketball stand is an improvement which requires a vote of unit owners. At any rate, the Board should develop a policy which deals with the use of the common area and have the same reviewed in conjunction with their counsel.
“Although management companies have a wealth of knowledge, ultimately, the advice sought in this matter involves the practice of law and should be answered by an attorney.”