B.N. from Marin County, California writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
The unit owner below my unit took out a permit to move a washer from one bathroom to the other side by the master bedroom. For 4 months, there has been construction noise. Not only has he installed his dryer next to my bedroom window and balcony, but the vent for his dryer exhausts right outside my window. Dust particles fly into my window which can trigger my asthma and I have a heart condition. He was ordered from the HOA to stop and close the vent and purchase a dryer which does not need a vent. Per HOA rules, you cannot alter the outside of the building. Now, he installed another vent on the other side where I have my other room and my other balcony.
I complained to the HOA and they will meet with him. However, he is a lawyer and owns a few rentals here. My main concern is I want the vents to be closed and not being used by the dryer, which would be a health concern. I have owned the condo for 36 years and never had a problem. Also, should I go to the city and mention the concern about installation? Please be so kind and advise me what to do. Thank you!
Mister Condo replies:
B.N., I am sorry that you have acquired such an inconsiderate neighbor. The good news is that the Board is siding with you and taking the correct steps to admonish and, hopefully, correct the prohibited installation. It sounds like this owner doesn’t care to follow the rules. Lawyer or not, his is not above the rules and regulations of the association. The Board has many compliance tools at their disposal to make him comply. You will need to be patient as they can only do what the association’s governance documents allow them to do. As far as contacting the city about the installation, I think that might not be too helpful. Unless he violated a city ordinance or building code, what happens on the condominium grounds is typically between the association and the unit owner. You might want to speak with an attorney about any rights you may have that have been violated but I wouldn’t hire an attorney just yet. As long as the Board is successful in getting the unit owner to correct his improper ventilation installation, your peace and quiet should return. All the best!