Case #780-G, Scenery Pointe Condominium v. John Glennie (February 21, 2006) (Panel: Hileman, Gannon)
The homeowner association (HOA) determined to inspect all chimneys in the association to perform necessary inspections and cleaning, and repeatedly requested that the homeowner (HO) make an appointment to allow the chimney inspector into his unit. He did not reply and the HOA filed a complaint with the Commission seeking an order that would give it access to the chimney. It also imposed a $200 fine against the HO for violation of the HOA rules. Although the HO was notified of the complaint and of the hearing, he did not file any answer nor did he appear at the hearing.
The Panel held an evidentiary hearing, and ruled that the HO was properly served with notice of the hearing and that it had jurisdiction over him. The Panel found that the HOA's decision to inspect and clean all the chimneys was for a proper purpose and was properly made, and that the HO was in violation of the duty to cooperate with that decision. The Panel ordered the HO to contact the HOA to make an appointment for the inspection, and further ordered that if the HO did not do so, the HOA could, after 5 days' notice, hire a locksmith and enter the unit without the HO's consent to do the necessary work, and the HO would then have to reimburse the HOA for the locksmith's fees as well as for any additional fees incurred by the HOA to gain access and make repairs.
However, the Panel denied the HOA's request for the $200 fine. The HOA's rules require that before fines can be imposed the HOA must give the HO a notice that warns him of the fines and gives him the right to a hearing on that issue. The notice actually given to the HO did not advise him that he might be subject to a fine if the HOA decided he was in violation of the rules.