A.S. from Miami Dade County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I’m asking for an elderly person who is constantly harassed by the condominium association. They send her repeated letters threatening with fines for different things like the color of the curtains, despite other neighbors having the same kind. Since last year they are complaining about her pet dog leaving hair on the stairs. That dog died a year ago and her family cleans the stairs once a week, but they have continued with the complaint and sent her a $50 fine accompanied with 2019 pictures as “proof” the stairs are still dirty. When she calls the association to explain the stairs are clean they are extremely rude, refuse to listen, and frequently just hang up the phone on her in the middle of the sentence. She is a 74-year-old person in very bad health. I have tried to talk to them on her behalf but they claim they can only talk to the owner of the property and they refuse to speak with anyone else. Where can she find help in this situation?
Mister Condo replies:
A.S., I am sorry that your elderly friend is suffering such abuse from anyone, let alone her association. The simplest advice I would have for you is to contact an attorney and bring suit against the association for harassment. Even if you didn’t prevail, the association should get the message loud and clear to knock it off. Better yet, if you did prevail, not only would the association behave better, you might actually end up with a cash settlement. Association management and Boards do not have the right to bully or harass anyone. They do have the right to enforce the rules and regulations of the association but they must do so unilaterally and without discrimination. It sounds to me as though this association could use to learn that lesson and clean up their act. Calling the association is not doing the trick and sounds like it is actually worsening the situation. All correspondence should be in writing and well documented. These are the kinds of records that the Court will want to see if you decide to sue the association. It is certainly worth a consultation with an attorney. All the best!