The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 3-102. Powers of unit owners' association
(a) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this section and other provisions of this title, the association:
(1) shall adopt and may amend bylaws and may adopt and amend rules;
(2) shall adopt and may amend budgets for revenues, expenditures, and reserves under section 3-123 of this title, may collect assessments for common expenses from unit owners, and may invest funds of the association;
(3) may hire and discharge managing agents and other employees, agents, and independent contractors;
(4) may initiate, defend, or intervene in litigation, arbitration, mediation, or administrative proceedings in its name on behalf of itself or two or more unit owners on matters affecting the common interest community, subject to section 3-124 of this title;
(5) may make contracts and incur liabilities;
(6) may regulate the use, maintenance, repair, replacement, and modification of common elements;
(7) may make additional improvements to the common elements;
(8) may acquire, hold, encumber, and convey in its name any right, title, or interest to real estate or personal property, except as provided by section 3-112 of this title;
(9) may grant easements, leases, licenses, and concessions through or over the common elements;
(10) may impose and receive payments, fees, or charges:
(A) for the use, rental, or operation of the common elements, other than limited common elements described in subdivisions 2-102(2) and (4) of this title, and
(B) for services provided to unit owners;
(11) may impose charges for late payment of assessments and, after notice and a hearing, may impose reasonable fines for violations of the declaration, bylaws, and rules of the association;
(12) may impose reasonable charges for the preparation and recordation of amendments to the declaration, resale certificates required by section 4-109 of this title, or statements of unpaid assessments;
(13) may provide indemnification for its officers and executive board and maintain directors' and officers' liability insurance;
(14) except to the extent limited by the declaration, may assign its right to future income, including the right to receive assessments;
(15) may exercise any other power conferred by the declaration or bylaws or that is legally provided for similar entities or that is necessary and proper to govern and operate the association;
(16) may require that disputes between the executive board and unit owners or between two or more unit owners regarding the common interest community must be submitted to nonbinding alternative dispute resolution as a prerequisite to commencement of a judicial proceeding;
(17) may exercise all other powers that may be exercised in this State by organizations of the same type as the association; and
(18) may suspend any right or privilege of a unit owner that fails to pay an assessment, but may not:
(A) except as otherwise provided in subsection 3-116(q) of this title, deny a unit owner or other occupant access to the owner's unit;
(B) suspend a unit owner's right to vote;
(C) prevent a unit owner from seeking election as a director or officer of the association; or
(D) withhold services provided to a unit or a unit owner by the association if the effect of withholding the service would be to endanger the health, safety, or property of any person.
(b) The declaration may not limit the power of the association beyond the limit authorized in subdivision (a)(18) of this section to:
(1) deal with the declarant if the limit is more restrictive than the limit imposed on the power of the association to deal with other persons; or
(2) institute litigation or an arbitration, mediation, or administrative proceeding against any person, subject to the following:
(A) the association shall comply with section 3-124 of this title, if applicable, before instituting any proceeding described in subsection 3-124(a) of this title in connection with construction defects; and
(B) the executive board promptly shall provide notice to the unit owners of any legal proceeding in which the association is a party other than proceedings involving enforcement of rules or to recover unpaid assessments or other sums due the association.
(d) If a tenant of a unit owner violates the declaration, bylaws, or rules of the association, in addition to exercising any of its powers against the unit owner, the association may:
(1) exercise directly against the tenant the powers described in subdivision (a)(11) of this section;
(2) after giving notice to the tenant and the unit owner and an opportunity to be heard, levy reasonable fines against the tenant for the violation; and
(3) enforce any other rights against the tenant for the violation that the unit owner as landlord could lawfully have exercised under the lease or that the association could lawfully have exercised directly against the unit owner, or both.
(e) The rights referred to in subdivision (d)(3) of this section may be exercised only if the tenant or unit owner fails to cure the violation within 10 days after the association notifies the tenant and unit owner of that violation.
(f) Unless a lease otherwise provides, this section does not:
(1) affect rights that the unit owner has to enforce the lease or that the association has under other law; or
(2) permit the association to enforce a lease to which it is not a party in the absence of a violation of the declaration, bylaws, or rules.
(g) The executive board may determine whether to take enforcement action by exercising the association's power to impose sanctions or commencing an action for a violation of the declaration, bylaws, and rules, including whether to compromise any claim for unpaid assessments or other claim made by or against it. The executive board does not have a duty to take enforcement action if it determines that, under the facts and circumstances presented:
(1) the association's legal position does not justify taking any or further enforcement action;
(2) the covenant, restriction, or rule being enforced is or is likely to be construed as inconsistent with law;
(3) although a violation may exist or may have occurred, it is not so material as to be objectionable to a reasonable person or to justify expending the association's resources; or
(4) it is not in the association's best interests to pursue an enforcement action.
(h) The executive board's decision under subsection (g) of this section not to pursue enforcement under one set of circumstances does not prevent the executive board from taking enforcement action under another set of circumstances, but the executive board may not be arbitrary or capricious in taking enforcement action.
(i) The executive board shall establish a reasonable method for unit owners to communicate among themselves and with the executive board on matters concerning the association. (Added 1997, No. 104 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1999; amended 2009, No. 55 (Adj. Sess.), § 25, eff. Jan. 1, 2012; 2013, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)