Q. Our condo building does not have a cleaning service in place. The board has mandated that each owner take 2-week turns  cleaning the common hallways or face an $80 fine.

A schedule was posted showing it was my turn to clean just after a board member had workers come in to paint her unit after having just moved out. They tracked a ton of dust and dirt in the stairway carpet. I suggested it was only fair for this board member to clean up after the mess her workers made. I have not completed the cleaning.

I believe they will take me to court if I don't pay the fine. Would a judge consider the extenuating circumstances of the extra work created by the board member's workers in determining if the fine is valid?

A. The reader seems to be asking if he has a case for avoiding a fine for not cleaning simply because another owner made a large mess in the common areas. The real question here is

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