Nevertheless, we are fortunate to have owners who are enthusiastic about improving certain aspects of the building. So, the question is: Can the board accept voluntary contributions of money and/or labor from willing owners to accomplish projects for which there is no money in the budget, such as re-painting the fitness room and replacing a shabby piece of lawn around the front entrance to the building, without creating a second class of owners and/or liability issues?
— Helpful in Hanover
“Usually, the question of volunteer labor comes up in the context of an owner who doesn’t have sufficient funds for his dues and wants to contribute in-kind labor. States that have adopted
UCIOA [the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act] (and, no doubt, states that have not), require that assessments be assessed in accordance with the percentage ownership of each owner. You cannot substitute volunteer work for the money that is required to run the condominium common areas and facilities.
“In my experience, this issue comes up more often with associations who are self-managed as opposed to those that have professional management. Self-managed associations often have committees who actually do work that would cost dollars if that work was being done by a professional manager.