: We have a swimming pool that is unused by many people in our building. When I bought my unit 20 years ago, I was told that the swimming pool heater was always on from April until October. This has always been the policy. The board changed the policy and now keeps the heater off until June. Can they do this?
: Boards are elected by the membership to oversee the common areas. One of their duties is to weigh costs and benefits when it comes to operational issues. In other words, boards can weigh the cost of heating the pool against the benefit received, i.e., the number of people who use the pool. Why should members pay higher dues to heat the pool if only one person benefits?
. The courts have already determined that boards, upon reasonable investigation, in good faith and with regard for the best interests of the community association and its members, have the authority to exercise discretion within the scope of their authority when it comes to maintenance issues. It's called "judicial deference
." Thus, if you litigated the issue, you would likely lose.
. You do, however, have recourse. You and others who are like-minded can run for the board and, if elected, turn on the pool heater. An alternative solution is the installation of a solar heating system. If you can find a reasonable means of funding the installation, you could have a year-round heated pool without the costly heating bills.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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