Board Condominium Governance Legal

Condo Sump Pump Thump and Bump!


D.H. from Fairfield County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

There are sump pumps below my unit. They are in the cellar below my unit and are very noisy. They cycle on and off every 15 minutes and at end of each cycle, vibrate the floors loudly. I’ve complained to the BOD and the head maintenance guy and his main assistant but nothing has been done. I’ve put my attorney on stand-by notice. He will write the above, plus the Management company about this breach to the “disturbance of the enjoyment of my home”. A week ago, I gave the assistant maintenance manager a printout on expert plumbers’ suggestions on resolving ‘noisy sump pumps’ to no avail. Can I go down in the cellar and legally, UNPLUG, the most offensive pump, as I’ve given more than enough notice about this matter?

Mister Condo replies:

D.H., I am sorry for your sump pump noise disturbing your living situation at your condo. Since you have already retained the services of an attorney, I would ask you to ask him the same question. I don’t know if you can legally unplug any of the sump pumps but my guess is that you shouldn’t for a whole lot of reasons. First and foremost is that the sump pumps are likely there for a reason and unplugging any of them may cause damage to you or your neighbor’s units. Since you would have willingly been the direct cause by unplugging the unit, you would very likely be held liable for any resulting damage. You certainly don’t want that!

You are on the right path to correcting the problem. The noise is a nuisance and you very likely have protection from such nuisance in your condo documents, which your attorney will reference when he asks the Board to remedy the situation. Chances are, the letter from the attorney will motivate them to take action. If not, your attorney will likely advise you to bring suit against the Board. If you prevail, the problem will be fixed and there is no need to take action like unplugging the sump pumps. It really should be that simple. Good luck!

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