Harassment and Abuse at Small Condo

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R.B. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I am an owner in a 4-unit self-managed association. My son and I are under constant harassment from two of the owners for no other reason than disagreement with their ideas for the property. The fourth owner doesn’t want to be involved and therefore is no help at all. The condo problem: one of the owners continually alters the common areas without approval. They have altered the house plumbing, added new plants where there was lawn, nailed signs to the building, and now a spy camera affixed to the outside building pointing directly at my entrance and parking areas. My question: Since we are self-managed and no other owner will help, is there any recourse other than hiring an attorney?

Mister Condo replies:

R.B., I am sorry to say that there is truly no other recourse for you. Small associations only work well when all of the unit owners get along (or leave each other alone) and follow the rules of the association. It would appear that this unit owner has no intention of doing that so you can either put up with it or take action. As for harassment from another unit owner, you do not need to tolerate that. Get the police involved if you need to or speak to an attorney about your rights. If the unit owner escalates to assault or battery, definitely call the police. At some point, it isn’t about breaking rules; it’s about breaking laws. No condo owner should live in fear of harassment from another condo unit owner. As for the video surveillance system or “spy cam” as you have called it, there may be state laws addressing how and when they can be used. Again, speak to an attorney to discuss the legality of such a surveillance system in your state. Good luck!

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