A.G. from New Hampshire writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our newest condo owners are a 55 or older couple with an in-law living with them. No problem there. She is in her mid-80’s. My job on the Board is to manage the facilities and grounds for repairs and maintenance and hire and supervise the workers when they come to do work for the Association. The new owners “advised” that if the mother-in-law sees strangers around the condo (free standing single unit surrounded by woods), she has panic attacks which could cause a fall or other injury. I have been asked to call the wife when anyone will be working to give her a “head’s up” so she can prepare her in-law. Personally, I’m OK with that but since I am frequently away and sometimes workers arrive unscheduled, what liability do I or the Association have if I can’t notify the wife ahead of time that workers will be around her home and an accident (or worse) results? The mother-in-law is frequently home alone in the condo. Thank you for your thoughts.
Mister Condo replies:
A.G., as you know, I am not an attorney and offer no legal opinion in this column. Since this issue could raise serious liability for your association I think it would be wise to speak with your association attorney to make sure the association’s liability is kept to a minimum. On a personal note, I want to commend you for being so proactive and trying to work with the owners and their permanent guest. My personal opinion is that the association has no liability for what happens inside of a unit. The association isn’t an assisted living facility and there is no expectation on the part of any owner that the association is giving care to any unit occupants. The association has the right to have workers on the common grounds and Most associations have landscape personnel on property frequently for lawn care, edging, grounds maintenance, and so on.