Q&A: Landscaping Issue

Q. I am a condo unit owner who has HOA property near my unit that was overlooked for many years with no landscaping.  I have in the past six years slowly landscaped the area.  No one from the board has said anything to me. It is landscaped in accordance with the landscaping of the complex. 

The board president has a personal vendetta against me and now – after it is complete –  has informed me the landscapers have been instructed to remove all my plantings and replace them with two holly bushes. The plantings that I put there are beautiful, and the area is 100 percent improved. Putting the holly bushes there will decrease the beauty of the area I landscaped and waste HOA funding for landscaping that many other areas need.

                      —Spurned Green Thumb

A. “Under the New Jersey Condominium Act, N.J.S.A. 46:8B et seq (hereinafter “the Act”),” says Anne Ward, an attorney for the firm of Ehrlich, Petriello, Gudin & Plaza in Newark,  “a condominium property is divided into common elements, limited common elements, and privately-owned units. The Act says this about common elements: 

“The right of any unit owner to the use of the common elements shall be a right in common with all other unit owners (except to the extent that the master deed provides for limited common elements) to use such common elements in accordance with the reasonable purposes for which they are intended without encroaching upon the lawful rights of other unit owners (The Act, 46:8B-6).”

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