C.K. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I’m located in Florida. I ran across your site. I have a 1st floor unit which I installed a screen enclosure. The lawn service does not trim the grass well and it is difficult to open the door, to the point where the hinges get bent. They claim they can’t trim closer without killing the lawn and that I’m responsible if the door breaks. They told me to install pavers. I asked for a letter on condo letterhead signed by board members and get no response. Am I or the condo responsible for this breakage due to their refusal to maintain the property properly? I should point out that there are other issues as well.
Mister Condo replies:
C.K., greetings from Connecticut! I would say you have a bit of a sticky wicket here. Ideally, the lawn service folks would use a weed whacker or such around your door so that you could easily open and close it without the hinges breaking. If your association allows it, you could just buy an inexpensive one yourself and maintain that little patch of grass right at your door entryway and your problem would be solved. Clearly, the door is yours and is your responsibility. The lawn service people have suggested that pavers would solve your problem, and again, that certainly sounds like an inexpensive solution to me. No grass grown on the pavers so your entryway is unencumbered. Win/Win! You could make a complaint to the Board that the lawn service is not satisfactory and they may or may not take action. If you are the lone voice of dissent against the contractor, I wouldn’t expect any action from the Board.
You say you asked for a letter on condo letterhead signed by the Board but get no response. I am not sure what you are asking them for but the Board won’t routinely send written correspondence on an issue like this. If you truly feel you have been wronged and that a lawsuit is in order, I suppose you could take that action. However, if all you are dealing with is a patch of grass that needs cutting, I really don’t see how that will help anything. If you are allowed and able to install the pavers, that sounds like a reasonable solution. It probably should have been done when the screen enclosure was initially installed, which would have avoided this whole situation in the first place. All the best!