Condo Unit Guest Intimidated Condo Employee

R.S. from New Haven County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I live in a high rise condo and in 32 years we have never had problems with residents being rude to our employees. But a live-in guest of one resident intimidated and was extremely rude to a 19 year-old employee who was only trying to enforce the house rules. What is the board to do? We do not have a “fine system” in existence.

Mister Condo replies:

R.S., I wish civility could be legislated but, in reality, there are just lots of extremely rude people in the world. It sounds like one resides in your high-rise condo. Ideally, the employee will report the incident to the employer who will take the appropriate action. If the employer is a property management firm, they will likely train the employee in how to interact with unit owners and speak with the unit owner. If the employee was truly threatened, the employee can seek action against the unit owner. The police can even be involved if the activity was criminal.

Of course, there are always two sides to every story. Do the live-in guest and this employee have a relationship outside of work? Did they both puff up their chests and go at it? There are just too many variables that are not being reported here and it is very likely going to come down to “he said/he said”. How can you add rules to address that kind of situation?

For the most part, residents and their guests do not need to interact with association employees other than security or concierge personnel. Even maintenance folks should be contacted through property management and not directly unless that is the policy. If the Board wanted to implement a policy for how and when to interact with association employees, it could certainly do so. If it wanted to back up that policy with a fine system for violating the policy it could do that also. It seems a little extreme over one incident but it is within its right to implement both. I wish you a speedy and peaceful resolve.

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