G.M. from Fairfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am member of a condo association. I have inherited a $10,000 Air Conditioner expenditure due to negligence and management by my condominium. I have presented my case to them and the claim. My family and I cannot afford this cost and we cannot afford to be without air conditioning again this summer. Who can I turn to?
Mister Condo replies:
G.M., I am sorry that you find yourself in this position and I apologize for not being able to get to your question before this past summer. I hope you got through the worst of the heat waves we experienced in August. I am not exactly certain how you “inherit” an air conditioner expense. If you own the unit (which is quite common) then it is yours to maintain. If the association owns the unit then it is their expense and responsibility to maintain. If a previous owner sold you a unit with a faulty HVAC, I am afraid that is likely going to be your expense. If you paid for a property inspection and the faulty HVAC was missed by the inspector, you may be able to seek some relief through the inspector but this is quite unusual. If you do need to replace the HVAC be sure you speak with the association to make sure you replace the unit with an association-approved model. Even though it may be expensive, typical modern air conditioning units will last for many years to come and may even pay for themselves in electricity savings due to modern efficiencies. If, for some reason, the association is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of your air conditioning unit and they failed to do so, you may wish to speak to an attorney to see what further recourse you may have. Either way, I wish you good luck!