S.L. from Broward County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a condo with 100+ unit in South Florida. At this time, we have more renters than owners. We have had several property managers, this one is the worst, she does nothing. I am infested with millipedes. Every day, as soon as I open my door I have to sweep them away, in the 100’s. I’ve asked her to send an exterminator. She tells me that the Association is not responsible for this, I am. The original docs from years ago stated an exterminator once a month. I believe that once I open my door, the Association is responsible for the outside, I am responsible for the inside. She sends someone over to sweep, like I do every morning and the next morning it’s like It has never been swept. Since she’s been here, some palms have died and been pulled out of the ground, the grass has turned to straw rather than stay green. The President of the condo owns an apartment here, doesn’t live on the premises, but rents it out. We don’t even have a legal Board. They don’t care because of the fact that there’s more renters than owners. The majority of the owners had moved because of the type of management we have had in the past. Once a year, because it is required by law, we have a meeting and the Property Manager promises us the world, after that another year goes by and the same speech is given by her while absolutely nothing is being done and I mean nothing!!! The President could care less. The renters can do anything they want, the property has gone down drastically and this is in a county club setting. How on earth can I every even think of selling my apartment to anyone? Do you know of anyone who would buy a condo will a millipede infestation? Opposite my door there used to be grass, a number of years ago the grass was pulled and mulch and rocks are now cover it. I believe the infestation may be coming from that. Can I force the management to get rid of the rock and much with grass replacement?
Mister Condo replies:
S.L., I am so sorry for your problems. You have actually stated the underlying problem in your complaint. You have an unengaged and uncaring Board. The Property Manager works for the Board so as long as they are happy with her performance, and it sounds like they are, the Property Manager isn’t going to behave any differently. If the majority of units are investor owned, my guess is you wouldn’t have too much trouble finding an investor to purchase your unit, should you decide to sell. As you have stated, the investors don’t seem to care very much about the overall care of the grounds and would likely have no problem renting out your unit should an investor purchase it. Millipede removal is certainly work for an exterminator. If the price isn’t too unreasonable, you might want to consider footing the bill yourself for the removal of the infestation. Just be sure to let the Board know that you plan on treating your unit as well as the area just outside your unit (because you don’t own that). As long as there is no objection from the Board (I doubt there will be), you might be able to solve your infestation problem for little money and in short order. Other than that, I would strongly consider selling your unit. With a high occupancy of satisfied investors and few resident owners, very little is likely to change. All the best!