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Community Association Law

Posted by scalzoproperty on August 10, 2019
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We have a bar in our clubhouse. It is unused, there is no bartender, no alcohol is sold. Several residents would like to start a bottle club. They would “stock” the bar with their alcohol and on weekends hire a bartender to serve their alcohol to their group. Any resident may “join” the club. The only requirement is to provide alcohol. However, some residents feel they should be entitled to “free” drinks since the club is using the bar and storing their alcohol in bar storage. Can this group residents act as an unofficial club? If the board designates this club as official, what are reasonable accommodations for all residents to participate?

The Board has the right to set rules and establish parameters at their discretion. From a Management standpoint, my concern would be that the Board first and foremost weigh the benefit of this added “amenity” versus the increased liability of having it. For example, is the clubhouse within walking distance to all participating homeowners and would the bar area be locked when not open for use? The specific guidelines under which this club (unofficial or not) operates would be up to the Board to decide what is fair and equitable for the community. I would be less focused on whether or not to provide free drinks to entitled residents and more concerned about setting up proper parameters around this alcohol policy that would keep the Association’s risk exposure to a minimum. Lastly, I would recommend that any proposed policy be reviewed by the Association’s Attorney before implemented to ensure any and all legal language protecting the Association be added in an effort to limit liability.

Jason Keller
Scalzo Property Management, Inc.
2 Stony Hill Suite 201
Bethel, CT 06801

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