R.C. from Fairfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a four unit condo. We have no association and every owner wants to do their own things. The ongoing problem is the parking issue. Each owner has two legal parking space but all the other owners (3) except for me have more than two cars in the small parking space that we have. When the police are called because I cannot get in my space because the space is tight from all the extra cars I am told that “it is private property” and that I need to discuss the issue with my Association. That is exactly the problem! We don’t have an association! That is why the owners are not respecting each other and are only looking out for #1. I am bullied on a daily basis to accept whatever they do because I am outnumbered. Where can I go to get some legal results because talking to those owners is not an option? They do not want to work together. Any kind of good advice would be really appreciated.
Mister Condo replies:
R.C., that is quite a conundrum you have presented me with! Condominiums are a very specific type of real estate commodity and they come with a very specific group of rules and protocols that are outlined in very legal documents, namely, the covenant, the declaration, and the rules and by-laws. Collectively, these documents are more commonly referred to as the “condo docs” and that is where you have to begin to get to the bottom of this whole issue of whether or not you have an association. You should have been presented with a package of condo docs when you purchased your condo. Since your condo is less than 10 units, you may have some peculiar wording as to who makes up the Board but I am quite certain your association has a governing body of some sort. How else could you function as a condo and take care of common elements and common items like snow removal, landscaping, building maintenance, and so on? Who is paying the bills? Who do you send your common fee payments to? The answer to these questions will help you get to the bottom of your community’s governance.
If you are being bullied you may have a case to sue your Board for discrimination. Keep in mind that for you to claim bullying or discrimination you will have to document the incidences and make your case before a judge which will likely require you to get legal representation for yourself. No one should be bullied or discriminated against.
Once you get to the bottom of your association governance, you will likely see that there is a procedure for documenting your complaints and presenting them to the Board. From what you have told me, the Board is not likely to take action as the action would be against them. Again, you are likely left to the option of bringing suit against the Board for not enforcing rules and regulation of the condo.
Of course, I have another piece of advice that I strongly encourage you to consider. You live in a four unit condo where 2 or more of your fellow unit owners are unpleasant people who are abusive to you and the system. In such a small condo you cannot avoid these people. I would strongly consider selling your unit and moving to a more agreeable place. Perhaps a larger condo where the rules are far more likely to be enforced would be more to your liking? Your fellow owners sound like real miserable people to have for neighbors. Rather than spend so much time and effort on legal actions to make them behave better, why not just leave? These folks are going to do what they are going to do. You will always be in the minority with 3 of the 4 votes going against you.
Whatever you decide, R.C., I wish you all the best and a pleasant place to call home. Good luck!