Question:    I live in a condo subdivision with 176 units in Virginia Beach. Our board threatened to not open our pool this year citing the pool was too expensive to keep open. When we as homeowners purchased in this development we purchased the pool and use of it. I would think it would be pretty much understood all homeowners whether they use the pool or not are responsible via their association fees to maintain the pool and all common areas. If the cost of maintaining the pool increases, like anything else for that matter, shouldn’t the board just raise the association fees to keep the pool open. Can the board decide to just close the pool that we essentially own?

Answer:    Generally, the Board has the authority to make all decisions relating to the Association, unless your governing documents say otherwise. Assuming that your documents say nothing specific about operating the pool, the Board likely has this authority.

Consider that the Board is in a very tough position, as the decision to raise dues would be just as unpopular (perhaps more) than the decision to close the pool. Consider also that the Board may not have the legal authority to raise the dues over a certain amount without a full-blown owner vote (depending on what your documents allow), leaving them with no choice.

You are unhappy with the Board’s decision, but what is the general feeling among the other owners? If you believe that most owners would gladly pay the increased dues in order to keep the pool open, then perhaps you should organize an owner group to gather opinions and share these thoughts with the Board, or to call an owner meeting at which people can appear and voice their opinions. You may also be able to convince the Board to view the results of an owner survey before making their decision final.