NJ Confidential Co-op and Condo Boards in the Age of Transparency

This in an anxious time in which to sit on the board of directors. With defaults and foreclosures accounting for some 20 percent or more of the units at some condominiums, frustration among board and association members is off the charts.

“In this difficult economic environment,” observes attorney William S. Singer of Singer & Fedun, LLC, based in Belle Mead, New Jersey, “people are looking much more carefully at every cent coming out of their own personal budget and therefore questioning increases by the associations in their monthly or quarterly assessments.”

More than ever, echoes attorney Scott Piekarsky, principal of the law firm of Piekarsky & Associates in Wyckoff, “because everybody’s cost of living has increased and incomes are not keeping pace.” Owners, he adds, are making demands of their board members asking them to ‘show us why is it that we have to pay that. Justify it to us.’

“When everything’s good, nobody seems to care,” notes attorney David Hartwell of Penland & Hartwell LLC, a real estate law firm based in Chicago. “But when things go bad, suddenly, they ask, ‘why aren’t you telling us what’s going on? Who’s running the joint?’”

“I think that’s why transparency has become such a big issue,” concludes Hartwell.


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  • Homeowners Assoc. changed the common area entrance lock with do not dublicate keys. They gave unit owners two keys, they charge $50 for extra key costing only $20 If you lost a key you can not make extra without authorization of mngt agent. Is this legal, unit owner can not make an entrance key to to go to his condo unit? Property rights in Nj??