SECTION 1. Chapter 183A of the general laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting at the end thereof the following new sections:--
Section 23. (a) There is hereby established an Office of the Condominium Ombudsman, to be located for administrative purposes within the Department of Housing and Community Development. The functions of the office shall be funded by the department.
(b) The Undersecretary shall establish a statewide condominium ombudsman program for the purpose of receiving, investigating and resolving through administrative action complaints received by unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community associations, and other parties. The undersecretary shall appoint an ombudsman to act as the director of the program who shall be a person qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the office.
Section 24. In order to ensure the goals of the ombudsman program are met, the ombudsman shall:--
(a) Prepare and issue reports and recommendations to the Undersecretary, the Attorney General, the Inspector General, the Legislature, or any relevant agency, on any matter or subject within jurisdiction of the department. When making recommendations to the Legislature, the ombudsman shall include drafts of legislation, if required; and
(b) serve as a liaison between the executive office of economic development, or any relevant department and unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties. The ombudsman shall develop policies and procedures to assist unit owners, boards of directors, board members, community association managers, and other affected parties to understand their rights and responsibilities as set forth in this chapter and the condominium documents governing their respective association. The ombudsman shall coordinate and assist in the promulgation of educational materials; and
(c) to make recommendations to the department for changes in rules and procedures for the filing, investigation, and resolution of complaints filed by unit owners, associations, and managers; and
(d) to provide resources to assist members of boards of directors and officers of associations to carry out their powers and duties consistent with this chapter, division rules, and the condominium documents governing the association;
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