M.M. from Fairfield County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I own a 2nd floor unit in a waterfront high rise atop of a fenced open space garage. The unit floor is extremely frigid regardless of my installing carpeting with extra thick insulation, including in my bathrooms and closets. I have also installed a 2nd set of storm windows over the existing ones to try and make my unit warmer. Regardless of my running the heating 24/7, the unit temperature never rises above 62 degrees. This is the same for all units on this floor. The majority of the owners are senior citizens on a fixed income. The hallway does not have any carpeting or heating which results in more frigid air coming into the units.
We have all complained to the Board and also the Management Company to which their reply was, “the 2nd floor is always cold!” Nothing is being done to look into this issue other than increasing our maintenance charges and also pay Special Assessment fees. What is my next step? What can be done other than selling and finding another place to live? I am a disabled senior citizen to which I cannot be able to do so.
Mister Condo replies:
M.M., I am sorry for the chilly reception you are receiving form your Board. Clearly, they are not acting in the best interest of the 2nd Floor residents who are continuously experiencing the Big Chill. If you’ve read my column for any length of time, you probably know what comes next… Get a new Board! If your disability prevents you from running and serving, you will need to find another volunteer, preferably another 2nd Floor resident, to be elected to the Board. Clearly, there is a construction defect of some sort in play here. Poorly insulated walls, floors, ceilings… something! The building needs to be inspected and corrective action needs to be taken. It could be expensive and require a Special Assessment or HOA loan to pay for the project but no unit owner should be expected to live in the cold. Since your current Board doesn’t seem to care or wish to act, they need to go if you are to be successful. It really is that simple. All the best!