A.C. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
The next door unit to my condo has been in foreclosure for over three years. The empty and decaying property is affecting my unit. What are my legal options?
Mister Condo replies:
A.C., I am not an attorney so please accept my advice as friendly and not legal. For a legal opinion, you need to consult with a local qualified attorney. Lengthy foreclosures are bad for lots of reasons, not the least of which is how long-abandoned units such as the one neighboring your unit can damage the remaining units and the quality of life for all unit owners. However, there is little you can do to hasten the process. Most likely a bank holds a mortgage on the unit which is now in default and the bank doesn’t see any reason to move the foreclosure along as it will not yield the money necessary to payoff the bad debt. The courts are often backed up with such proceedings and delayed foreclosures result. However, your association is also one of the creditors looking to get paid and it is possible that your Board of Directors can initiate their own foreclosure action if they so desire. They may also have the ability to take control of the unit while the bank is taking its sweet time and clean up and rent out the unit while the foreclosure lingers. Have you written to the Board of your association yet? I would make that my first option and explain the situation. They are the governing body representing the best interests of the association and unit owners such as you in this situation. If they decide to take action, they may be able to alleviate your problem and even earn some revenue for the association in the process. However, they may not be under any obligation to do so and would have to weigh the pros and cons of investing association money into rehabilitating the unit for the prospect of collecting rental income. A local attorney may offer you some additional advice so I strongly recommend you speak with one experienced in situations like yours. Good luck!