Veteran Condo Owner Abused by Neighbor!

J.K. from Fairfield County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Thank you for your professional opinion on the Condo Parking Lot Obstacle Course problem. I also have another question about parking spaces. On purchasing the condo in 1987, two spaces were clearly marked with my condo unit number. Now, a disgruntled, much younger and newer unit owner wants my spaces reassigned to keep for her own use. Is this a common and legal action? I am a senior citizen and Korean War Veteran. I don’t need this harassment.

In March 2014, I found another condo unit owner parked in one of my clearly marked assigned spaces. Upon the owner exiting the car, I politely asked her to move the car, three times, to her own parking space. She said that there was broken glass in her space, so she decided to use my space. Turning her head away from me she then proceeded to walk to her condo unit, without saying another word. I then parked my car in my remaining space close to her car. A few minutes later, I received a threatening phone call that was recorded on my answering machine, telling me to move my car from my space so she can get into her car from the driver’s side. The passenger side was unobstructed to enter. A few minutes later, I happened to look out my condo window to witness her walking around my car with left arm outstretched and touching my car. It wasn’t until the next day that I noticed long scratch marks on the driver’s side, rear and right front fender. I then realized that she keyed my car in a fit of rage on condo property. I went to the police. The police came to question her and she denied everything. What recourse do I have? Do I bring suit to the condo association, her or what? I have photos of the damage and the recording. The car has since been repaired and painted.

Mister Condo replies:

J.K., thank you for writing again and thank you for your service to our country! I am sorry that you are having such needless problems with parking at your condo but I am here to offer some friendly advice as always.

Your deed to your condo very likely contains the information you are looking for. It is most likely that your parking spaces are assigned and included as part of your purchase into the association. As such, they are yours to use as outlined in the condo documents. If someone tries to take them or the Board tries to reassign them, you would very likely be able to sue to have them left alone or returned. You’ve owned your unit for almost 30 years. I can’t imagine why anyone would think they can simply steal or reassign your parking spaces.

As for the behavior of your neighbor, all I can do is shake my head. You have described borderline psychotic behavior and you may be dealing with a disturbed individual. My advice is to not confront her again as she has already exhibited extremely anti-social behavior and will likely only escalate over time. You did the right thing by calling the police. Since she was dishonest with the police and they chose not to pursue it further, your only other option may be to speak with an attorney to see if you can press civil charges against her for damage to your property. Of course, if you have insurance, it may just be simpler to process a vandalism claim and get your car repaired. You can and should document her behavior that is in violation of the rules and report each and every occurrence to the Board or Property Manager. Also, continue to document the violations. Photo and audio evidence are going to be on your side if it comes to “he said/she said”.

It is shameful that you have to live with such a difficult neighbor but that is the reality of how too many people behave these days. Where you deserve respect and thanks for your service, she will disrespect you and, likely, the rules of the community. There is no cure for incivility, J.K.. We must rise above it and live a life that we can be proud of, regardless of how others conduct themselves around us. All the best!

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