T.K. from New York City writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I own a condo in NYC. My condo board and management agents have not been responding for three years to my complaints of suspected interior wall water leaks which I am not responsible for nor am I allowed to deal with myself. Water has by now severely damaged my lower floor ceiling and mold may be next. I too have two ceiling leaks on my upper floor. Can I refuse to pay my maintenance? What should I do?
Mister Condo replies:
T.K., I am sorry that neither your Board nor your Condo Manager have acted to correct the leaks. This is a serious matter and I am actually advising you to seek the advice of an experienced attorney as lawsuit is likely all you have left to make them act correctly. You cannot refuse to pay your maintenance! If you do, you will pay hefty penalties, up to and including a lien and even foreclosure against your unit. That is a bad idea. Instead, consult with an attorney and see what legal action you can take. Be sure to include the cost of the attorney in your complaint against the association. Clearly, they have a duty to protect the common elements which are faulty and being damaged from the long-term neglect. Your own insurance may also come into play for remediation, depending on how much of your own property has been damaged. Good luck!