A.N. from Oakland County, Michigan writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
For the past 7-8 years my gutters have been leaking creating icy dangerous and hazardous conditions with black ice forming causing slippery conditions. I have tried numerous times to get the management company to repair or replace with no action to date. If I replace them on my own can they sue me? Our by-laws state no owner to make exterior repairs. I am 76 and am so, so tired of living like this every winter. Mail carrier threatened to sue if she falls. I salt 3-4 times a day but ice still forms. What to do?
Mister Condo replies:
A.N., under no circumstances should you perform any work on the gutters or any other common element owned by the condominium association. If you replace them, you will most likely get sued and the association will win. Instead, you need to complain to the Board and make them aware of the icy conditions and the potential for a lawsuit from the mail carrier. The Property Management firm gets its marching order from the Board. If the Board does not direct them to address the black ice problem, it will not be taken care of. Someone will fall and get hurt and the association will get sued. While that is an unfortunate scenario, it may be the wake-up call the Board needs to address the seriousness of this problem. Also, if you have a Board that isn’t performing in the best interests of the association, don’t hesitate to replace them with better volunteer leaders who will. Perhaps you would rather serve on the Board and use your energy there than trying to repair or replace gutters? That would be a better use of your energy and wisdom. Good luck!