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KASS: How to avoid getting Bamboozeld

Q:     The condo association where I live has arbitrarily chosen not to maintain common areas that have bamboo growing out of control. I have 6 years of work order requests to address the issue. Through the board’s negligence it is now breaching the foundation of my home. What recourse do I have since the value of my condo is my largest investment I have? Clifford.

A:     Clifford. One of the problems I can never resolve is the concern of an individual condo owner who has problems which the board does not address.

On the one hand, individual complaints should be addressed on a timely basis. But the counter to this, when there are dozens (if not hundreds) of owners who need guidance and assistance, what is a board supposed to do and how can they address all of them all at once – if indeed some of these complaints are, in fact, real and not made up?

If your facade is, in fact, deteriorating, I would not wait too much longer. Whether the association pays for the fix is, in my opinion, not the issue: you want to – and must – correct and repair your foundation – even if you have to pay for it yourself. You may be able to collect down the road from the association. But I refuse to accept the proposition that the association has to pay for all damage created to individual units.

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Q:       All my assessments are up to date and have been for the last 16 years. Because there are some past due fines I am disputing, there is a balance on my account. The association is threatening to file a lien and foreclose on my home if I don’t pay the balance in full. I know the law does not allow for non-judicial foreclosure for fines, but my association keeps threatening me and adding additional fees onto my account. Also, my association refuses to resolve this via our state required Dispute Resolution process. Can you offer any advice? Thank you for your help. Tim.

A:   Tim, at some point, if the board does in fact haul you into court, you will need legal counsel. So why not retain a local lawyer now to try to resolve the matter short of court.

Do you have proof of all payments? If not, the burden will be on you – initially at first – to prove you made all of the payments on a timely basis. If you don’t have cancelled checks, get your bank to make copies of your checks; that can take some time.

You may be able to resolve this by producing a copy of your monthly bank statement, but that’s not the same as having actual photocopies of cancelled checks.


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