Condo laws need to be reformed

At first glance, people who don’t live in the Great Brook condominium complex in Milford might think that the controversy over the alleged actions of the condo board of directors has nothing to do with them.

And they’d be wrong. Even those who don’t live in condos now should be interested because they might one day find themselves enjoying condo life.

Here’s why folks should care:

Regardless of what one might believe, what side one might take or support in the Great Brook debate, conflicts like those between residents and the directors could, and probably do, surface in any complex. How they are resolved at Great Brook could be a template for resolving them in other complexes, although it would be nice to think that the great to-do at Great Brook is an aberration.

We hope you’ve been following our stories, especially last week’s in which The Cabinet reported on three bills before the state House of Representatives that could change the way condo complexes are governed and limit the power of condo boards. There is also a bill that would set up a dispute resolution board, something that should have been done years ago but better now than never.

One of the things we believe must be changed is the current state law under which condo residents always have to pay the legal costs after a dispute with their homeowners’ association. Rep. Kermit Williams, of Wilton, one of the bills’ sponsors, said that seems “pretty unfair to me,” and he’s right. It is unfair and we hope the Legislature changes it.

Among the language of another of the bills is that which would license property managers and we can see no reason that, too, shouldn’t pass. That is not to say that current property managers aren’t noble human beings with the best interests of their residents at heart, but who can see the future?

These bills are important and Rep. Williams should be applauded for sponsoring them. We hope everyone living in a condo, or anyone who thinks he or she might one day do so, contacts their representatives and asks them to get behind these potential new laws.