D.Z. from Bergen County, New Jersey writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I have many issues with my condo. Totally unresponsive BOD even with Management Co. trying to advise. Here are the current issues: An elevator has been down for over 2 months. New Key Fobs were installed without research or explanation of how it will work. We have several disabled people living in our building from extreme cases to moderate. One apartment has had 13 terrace floods this winter due to exterior brick issues. Other apartments have major window and ceiling leaks due to much needed brick pointing. Responses from management range from silence to “We’re working on it.”. The Board will not resume in person meetings, only Zoom. If some has an objection or question, they are muted from call if BOD feels it is hostile, when most times it is not. President of BOD will not answer emails and only requests that we send every communication to Management Co. Concierge and Cleaning employees are treated nastily.
Mister Condo replies:
D.Z., you certainly have a lot of issues at your condominium and I am sorry for your ongoing frustration. Zoom meetings have replaced in person meetings with many condominium associations. However, proper protocols have to be followed by both the host and the attendees. No parties should be hostile during these business meetings and the Board does not have the right to suppress an owner simply because they don’t want that owner to be heard. At the end of the day, all of these issues have one thing in common. My guess is that you live in an underfunded condominium where money is tight and it is difficult to attract better volunteers to serve on your Board. Both funds and better volunteers will be needed if the situation is going to change. I don’t know of any condo Board that wants to see the building damaged by floods and lack of maintenance. But if there is no money in the budget for the maintenance and it gets “deferred” – the polite term for saying we can’t afford it – problems like the ones you are describing are common. The Board is democratically elected from volunteer within your community. If you incensed enough about their behavior and the conditions of your building, I suggest you gather up some neighbors and run for the Board. Raiding common fees is never popular but it is likely necessary as may be a Special Assessment to make the needed repairs to the brick. Without an infusion of money and better intent by the Board, these problems will likely continue and even get worse. All the best!