C.A. from Cape Cod, Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We are currently struggling with the noise level that comes along with a fire pit that the condo trustees planted less than 25 feet from our bedroom window!! We are an end unit and they thought that this would be a great spot. We have tried speaking with them and kindly asking them to set a curfew for the noise and they refused. Then we looked into fire pit laws in our town… They must be 30 feet from habilitation, we informed them of this and they didn’t not take us seriously .. We have been very kind and don’t know what to do next. Any suggestions?
Mister Condo replies:
C.A., condo associations, even small ones like yours, need to follow local laws about fire pits. However, the association is likely not the enforcing body for violating a local law. That would eb the local building or fire authority. You can likely make a report to that authority and they will cite the association and ask them to move the pit or face a fine or other consequence for not doing so. That may help your problem but it will not solve it. Even if they move five feet away from your building, there will still be a noise problem. My advice is that you examine your condo documents for a nuisance clause. Nuisance can be defined as noise, odor, or anything that makes living in your condo unpleasant. You can sue the Board for not enforcing the nuisance clause of your governing documents if they refuse your request to keep order by limiting the hours of operation and/or the smoke emanating from the fire pit which compromise the quality of life at your condo. I used to live in Cape Cod and I know how enjoyable an evening fire pit can be in season. However, you have rights under your condominium documents and your right to peaceable enjoyment of your unit in a nuisance-free environment is likely spelled out in those documents. That is what you should use to rid yourself of this problem. You have tried the kind way and it hasn’t produced results. A lawsuit usually does the trick. Good luck!