W.C. from Essex County, Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I have not been responded to by my COA in over two years. I have not been notified for or about anything. My emails to the last known COA director go unanswered. There are COA written requirements for COA meetings with COA reports every 6 months. I am considering putting my Condo fees in an escrow account until the COA responds to my requests for communication. The selling price of the Condo Units has decreased due to the buildings only Certification for the building occupation is for businesses at the turn of the 19th century. The building has never received a Residential Certificate of Occupancy and does not meet the fire law requirements for residential occupancy. What legal steps should I be doing now?
Mister Condo replies:
W.C., I am sorry that your Condo Owners Association isn’t communicating with you. DO NOT withhold your COA fees or you will face many consequences, up to and including foreclosure on your home. That is a bad plan. Have you spoken with neighbors? Has the COA stopped communicating with everyone or just you? It is possible that you have been overlooked or some type of clerical error has occurred. It is also possible that your association is now being run by an inexperienced Board that doesn’t even know it needs to communicate with you and other owners. If it is just you, track down where your payments are going and find out who to speak with. Is there a management company involved? Surely, they would help. You can also speak with an attorney if you run out of other options. The attorney could bring suit against the association for breach of contract as they have failed to provide meeting notice, budgets, etc.. Out of curiosity, how do you know how much money to send as your common fees? Who do you send it to? Do you even know if you are sending the correct amount? Take the steps I’ve outlined above and get to the bottom of this. Good luck!