Court Awards Owners Damages of $134,900 and $106,801 for Association’s Failure to Maintain Common Areas and Improper Governing of Association

This case involved claims brought by two condominium owners (“Owners”) against their condominium association (“Association”) for damages and injunctive relief based on claims that Association: (i) failed to properly maintain the common areas and exteriors of the condominiums for several years; and (ii) consistently violated the governance provisions of the its declaration and bylaws by, among other things, failing to hold meetings and votes on Association affairs, failing to maintain banking and other Association records, and refusing to provide Owners with financial information about the Association.

Owners’ suit against Association made claims for breach of the governing documents, breach of fiduciary duty, and violations of the Maine Unfair Trade Practices Act (UTPA). In their action, Owners alleged that Association’s failure to properly maintain and govern caused their units to lose value, and further deprived Owners of the use and enjoyment of their units. As a result, Owners sought damages for the diminution in value of their units and for their frustration and mental anguish which drove them to the point of wanting to sell their units.

The trial court found that Association breached contracts with Owners (the governing documents), violated its fiduciary duty owed to Owners, and violated the UTPA, and awarded damages of $134,900 to one Owner and $106,801 to the other Owner to compensate them for their meritorious claims. The trial court also granted Owners injunctive relief in the form of specific performance that compelled Association to abide by its contractual and fiduciary duties in the future. The order of specific performance required Association to “promptly come into substantial compliance with all of the provisions of the Declaration, Bylaws, and corresponding provisions of the Maine Condominium Act and the Maine Nonprofit Corporation Act.” Association appealed the trial court’s judgment.

The appellate court ruled that the trial court’s judgment:

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