Q&A: When Is the Law Not the Law?

Q. Can a condo association that does not follow its bylaws as registered with the state of Rhode Island have the power to enforce its rules and regulations and fine a unit owner?

                           — Law-Abiding Owner

A. “The Rhode Island Condo Acts do allow for associations to be unincorporated,” says Frank Lombardi, partner in Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, LLC, with offices in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. “If, for example, the association failed to file corporate annual reports and lost its charter, it could still operate as an unincorporated entity — and, addressing your inquiry, conduct a Section 3.20 covenant enforcement hearing, and thereafter fine the unit.  

“As is usually the case, should the matter end there, no problem. If, however, should the unit owner contest the matter in Superior Court, or should the association seek injunctive relief, it would have to either: amend the governing documents to delete the requirement of incorporation and ratify its decision to remain unincorporated, or restore the corporate charter or incorporate to be consistent with the governing documents.”        

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Comments

  • Were to report the units/condo Trustee in wish there's more then 1 problem they should know about. Including mold in basement a Huge infestation of mice in all 22 units. An trustee does not seem like shes doing her job. She doesn't want to hear anyone because she has 3 Cats in wish they take care her unit. Please someone can email me with some info. Thank-you