E.J. from Hartford County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I reported a leaking chimney in May, 2014 to the manager and condo board. It wasn’t until December, 2014 that anything was done although I sent pictures of the rain getting in numerous times. They finally put a tarp, then plastic over the chimney. They did get a few estimates, but continued in this “process” until they got a cheap estimate. The Board never even came to see the chimney until 12/29/14. To date, it has not been fixed. I have asked over and over why the finding the cause for the leak wasn’t done last summer; they called it “Badgering.” They even threatened to have me escorted from a monthly board/unit owner meeting. They did send a company to see if there was mold. There wasn’t. They had some joker “waterproof” the outside, which didn’t work and the so-called contractor never even prepared the surface as per manufacturers directions. Do I have any recourse? I did not have use of my gas fireplace and my heating bills went up dramatically. I sent them a bill to have the gas tank removed since they didn’t fix the chimney, and they voted not to pay the company, as they were “held harmless.” Can you advise??
Mister Condo replies:
E.J., I am sorry for all of your problems. And I am further sorry that your frustration level with the Board and Management Company has escalated to the point where civil discourse is no longer the norm and you have been threatened with ejection from Board meetings. Clearly, there is a problem with the communication efforts on all fronts of this issue.
My advice is for you to consult with and hire an attorney to represent you and your best interests. You will very likely want to bring suit against the Board and/or the Management Company for not properly addressing your issue. It could very well be that the Board was doing their best to fix the problem but, clearly, the problem was not fixed and you feel they have violated their covenant with you as unit owner. A lawsuit is likely the best way to get everyone on the same page and focused on fixing your problem.
This is not inexpensive and I suggest you speak with your attorney about recovering your costs as part of the suit. Since they are using terms like “held harmless”, it sound to me like they have already spoken with their attorney. I strongly suggest you do the same or this could drag out for a long time and you may find yourself at odds with your Board and find your quality of life at your condo significantly diminished. None of that is necessary, E.J., and it serves no one that you are labeled as a troublemaker and threatened with ejection from Board meetings. Anger has no place here; this is a legal matter. Hire an attorney and go back to enjoying your condo and being civil to your Board and Property Manager. These folks don’t want this to be a personal matter. Let the attorneys, insurers, and contractors handle it. Good luck!