Looking for Help in New Haven

R.M. from New Haven County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Is there any free assistance to help me with the fact that my condo HOA and property Management is not rendering the services needed?

  • Communication is always unhealthy.
  • There is a problem with leaking roofs from a roof that was poorly installed in 2002. Contractor was not held responsible and the expense of repairs has been passed on to homeowners.
  • The Property Manager was a “Mr. Fix-it” for the community. He is a virtual one man operation and not very professional. He hires the cheapest labor and insists it is the HOA’s fault if the work is completed poorly.
  • The leaky roofs have caused mold to which I am very allergic.
  • The HOA and Property Manager speak to me like I am an enemy. They have been defensive and insulting. They act as if I am too fussy or unreasonable.
  • I have been trying to sell since 2005. I have a sloppy neighbor who violates every condo rule but is never required to comply. I am a “live and let live” sort, but have had to endure that property devaluating circumstance.

I AM STUCK HERE! Is there help for me?  Thank you.

Mister Condo replies:

R.M., I had to abbreviate your question a bit as you went into great detail about the various maladies at your condo. Let me try to give you some advice that might ease your pain and get you some relief. Free assistance is a bit of a misnomer. Most of the assistance you need is at your disposal but will require some effort on your part to engage it. For starters, if you’ve been trying to sell since 2005 without success, you need to speak to a qualified realtor about what is stopping the sale. It could be price; it could be curb appeal; it could be something else. List with a qualified realtor and follow their advice on how best to market and sell your condo. If you sell your unit, you can leave all of these worries behind.

I am sorry to hear about your HOA and Property Manager not showing a willingness to address your concerns. It is also troubling that you have a neighbor who is abusing the rules and not being asked to comply. Have you spoken with other neighbors about the situation? If others are as unhappy as you are, I suggest you organize a new group of people to run for the Board. Vote out the problem people and bring in some problem solvers. As a rule, the Property Manager reports only to the Board. By electing the right people to the Board, the Property Manager will reflect their efforts at maintaining the property and hiring skilled contractors for repairs. The Board, not the Property Manager, should be deciding who to hire for these jobs.

Finally, The CT Department of Consumer Protection has taken action against Property Managers who perform their duties unethically or hire contractors illegally. You can learn more at their website – http://www.ct.gov/DCP/site/default.asp

With all of these resources available to you, R.M., I trust you will persevere. I hope you sell your unit quickly and have a more positive experience in your next home.

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