We are part of town home association that has a total of 59 units over 16 separate buildings. 13 buildings have 4 units, 1 has 3 units and 2 have 2 units. By local ordinance, those buildings that have 3 or 4 units are required to have fire alarms that are monitored by a private company. The buildings that only have 2 units are not required, so don't have alarm systems. However, the cost of the alarm system is born (paid for) by all homeowners, including those that do not benefit from the alarm system. When questioned why we had to pay for the service, that we do not benefit from, we were told that it is a common area similar to the "pond" that is maintained and included in our monthly assessment. It is my contention that these fire alarms benefit individual town home owners and are not "common areas" for the good of all.
My question, where do I find out the definition of "common areas"? Is the association required to give me a copy of the associations by-laws? Can they change the by-laws to suit there definition?