S.S. from Hartford County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I pay over $200 a month in condo fees. Lawn upkeep and snow removal are included. The association had a man remove snow from the unit roofs. That snow of about 8 inches is still all over the sidewalk 7 days later. The snow is now ice and deadly to walk on. Now they’re claiming they don’t have to remove it!!! How can I get them to remove it? I called all over.
Mister Condo replies:
S.S., you have described all too common a complaint I have been hearing from local condo dwellers this year. There has been so much snow and it has been so cold that the snow hasn’t melted. Rather, just like in your case, it has solidified and become very dangerous ice on roads, on sidewalks, in gutters, and on roofs. Situations like yours often result in “slip and fall” injuries at condominiums which can cost the insurance money in the form of increased insurance premiums and even settlements. It is far better to have a better snow removal program in place to prevent such losses.
Snow removal contractors are hired by the association to provide their service. However, not all contracts are worded in the association’s advantage and not all work is performed to the satisfaction of unit owners. There isn’t too much that you can do about it this year as the season is rapidly winding down. What you can do is write to your Board with your displeasure and ask that they prepare a more thorough snow removal contract for next year that addresses this year’s deficiencies. For instance, if the snow removal from the roof did not include disposal of the roof snow from association grounds, ask that they not only remove the snow from the roof but that the snow they remove from the roof is then taken off property. This will cost the association more money, which may in turn cause your common fees to increase, but you will have the roof snow removal and clear walkways you desire. Of course, your fellow unit owners will also have to support such a measure and the Board would have to agree to spend more and raise fees if necessary. Many associations are already facing cash shortages for their snow removal budgets this year. However, spending more to insure safety and minimize association risk is a good call. All the best!