Last week our new President ordered the federal government to immediately start building the wall on our southern border. Trump claims that the wall will help security measures designed to keep the United States safe from entry by illegal immigrants and that the wall will help prevent crimes in the neighboring communities..
Suppose your condo President thought the same thing? Suppose your condo President was able to prove that as a result of not having a protective gate or wall around your community, there is resulting crime and trespass? Can the President, or the Board of Directors simply order a gate to be built around the community, much like President Trump issuing an executive order for the construction of the wall?
The answer is YES.
Here is a paragraph from an arbitration case called FARNHAM v.VISTA HARBOR ASSOCIATION, INC., Case No. 97-0214, January 27, 1998:
In Williams v. Sky Harbour Condominium Apartments, above, the arbitrator held that unit owner approval was not required for the construction of a fence on the condominium property where the condominium building, located on busy Tampa Bay, was vulnerable to intrusion by persons without any legitimate connection to the project. The incidents ranged from potentially serious attacks on persons, to trespass on the property and in the pool, to theft of property, and to unauthorized fishing. See also Southridge Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Barbieri, Arb. Case No. 94-0382, Summary Final Order (December 27, 1994)(association could have properly determined to install security lights without a vote of the owners if there existed convincing factual predicate that the board’s action was necessary to protect the common elements or inhabitants from a known danger). In the instant case, the association demonstrated that people with no legitimate business on the condominium property had entered the property from the UniVest parking lot; a few thefts, a break-in and vandalism had occurred; trash from the parking lot was blowing into the condominium property; and a large number of unit owners felt unsafe and worried about the potential theft of their cars without a fence between them and the UniVest parking lot. In short, a threat existed. Installation of a fence was a reasonable response to this threat.
Most of you know that “material alterations” to the property usually require a 75% vote of the owners as per statute. The installation of a security gate is an exception to that statute if the Board has legitimate safety and security concerns.
So now that you know you can install the wall or fence, the question is: AND WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR IT?