H.M. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My unit was damaged twice extensively due to ice damming within four years. The Board said they will hire a roofing consultant to review the situation. So far I’ve not heard anything definite concerning the consultant. I’m very concerned that time is going by with no answer as to how they expect to alleviate the problem. My emails to the management company and the board go unanswered. Are they obligated to respond to my inquiries? I’ve stated to them I have no intention of usurping their authority but my unit is directly involved with the problem, it’s not as though I’m just prying into their business.
Mister Condo replies:
H.M., as long as the association is making good on any insurance claims for the damage you are experiencing, H.M., they are likely doing all that is required. I am truly sorry for the damage you have experienced. I can only imagine the heartbreak of enduring that hardship repeatedly. The wheels of governance often turn slowly at condominiums and all sorts of factors, including coming up with the money to pay for the engineering study and possible repair, often come into play. I have found that the squeaky wheel does get the grease though and you are well advised to keep on top of the situation by continuing to write and document your requests for remediation to the Board. If nothing else, it should keep your issue on their agenda. Also, I would suggest you attend an upcoming Board meeting, which is your right. You don’t have to say anything. You can simply observe the meeting and see if your issue is discussed and what the possible resolution might be. If you cannot attend the meeting, you should request a copy of the Minutes of the meeting so that you can see what action, if any, was taken on the issue. Slow and steady usually gets the best results.
You are wise not to try to usurp the Board’s authority in this matter. Honestly, there isn’t much you could do even if you wanted to. The roof is a common element and under the association’s control. Their obligation to you ends at protecting the unit via insurance. Anything else is above and beyond what you can “force” them to do. Ice damming is a condition caused by nature and roofing engineering practices that have long been considered acceptable throughout New England. The Board did not construct the roof for your unit, they merely maintain it. You may wish to consult with an attorney if you feel you have legal grounds for a suit but my guess is that, from what you have shared here, your Board is not doing anything improper here. Good luck!