Doing double take on condo privacy

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DEAR BENNY: I own a condo that has a property management company with an active board and bylaws. Each individual unit has a cement patio with a privacy fence (approximately 6 feet high) around it. The bylaws regulate what you can have on your private patio. There are a few things that I do not understand in this situation. First of all, how can this private area off each unit be considered "common area"? Next question is what right does the property management have to look over the fence to see what you have on your patio? While I can understand receiving a letter of violation if something is sticking out above the fence, I regularly get violation letters regarding items they have seen on my private patio that can be seen only by opening my gate or looking over the fence. I am very frustrated and feel my rights are violated. --Maureen DEAR MAUREEN: I appreciate your frustration, and agree that property managers should not be spies. Years ago, I wrote an article ...