D.S. from Los Angeles, California writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We have a neighbor who yells obscenities, racial slurs, and threatening remarks to other neighbors out his window all hours of the day especially in the early hours of the morning when everyone is trying to sleep. He also slams his doors and windows continuously and violently to where it shakes the building. Within the past 3 weeks our unit was flooded in 2 different areas and we found out that the root cause of both leaks were from his unit. The plumber found out that he broke his faucet and probably never took care of it. So this affected the 2 units under his. The big problem is that he gives anyone a hard time, yells at them, and does not allow anyone into his unit to do repairs. So, nothing has been done to fix the root cause. The HOA had to send someone to our unit to cut through our walls, remove kitchen cabinets, and remove carpet to make sure there is no mold. We had a 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo and because of the damage, we are stuck with no living room, kitchen, guest room or guest bathroom. My wife, newborn son, and I are all camped out in the master bedroom because that’s all we have now. I am afraid that when we start doing our repairs, it will just flood again since nothing has been done to remedy the root cause.
Mister Condo replies:
D.S., what a terrible situation. From your description of the issues that this unruly neighbor has caused, may I assume that the police have been called? Clearly, there are elements here that require police intervention. Second, because we are a litigious society, you need to hire an attorney to represent your legal interests in this matter. The association should likely work with an attorney as well if they are going to address the problems caused by this owner. It is very likely going to take a legal remedy to fix this problem and it may not be fixed quickly so you really want to protect yourself and your family as best as you can. The HOA Board will need to come down consistently against this unit owner if the association is going to be protected from further harm. An attorney may even instruct you to sue your own HOA if the issues are not corrected in timely fashion. At the end of the day, we just can’t control other people’s actions. Even with fines, legal actions, etc. this person may continue to act out. The way you describe it, this person may even need professional mental health help and could even be a danger to themselves. You can be compassionate but you must protect yourself and your family. Honestly, I would even consider selling my unit and getting into another community where there will, hopefully, not be another deranged individual living next door. Good luck!