Unresponsive Condo Management Company

Frances123January 25, 2004


I have a neighbor living on the 3rd floor of my condo building, I live on the first floor. She recently purchased a washing machine and has been using her sink drain pipe. When the water and debri run through the common element (drain pipe) it backflows into my bathroom with suds and debris coming from my toilet bowl. The condo management has not resolved the problem since October 2003 and it is now January 2004. As of this past Wed, we had a board meeting and in the board meeting they said they will have to get legal advise as to who is responsible in handling the problem with the neighbor.. possibly another two weeks before they tell me what the decision is. The board said the plumbers checked the piping system and all is ok,, no blockages. They think that I should be the person to contact the neighbor and sue her for misuse of the piping system. I don't think this is right... I have no business telling a resident of how they should use their plumbing,, in this case it is affecting my place and causing major water dammage but they are using the common element. Should't the board and managing company be responsible?

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yes. Because actually the BOARD is the landlord. I'm not exactly sure how condos work; I live in a coop.

Has ANYBODY told her this is causing a problem? Even you? You have standing to do that--"Hey, Susan, did you know that when you use your washing machine, I get suds and gunk all over my bathroom floor?"

But you don't have standing to order her to stop. And you shouldn't have to sue her (you can't; you don't have standing)--the CONDO BOARD should bear that expense.

Is this a small condo? I'm curious.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2004 at 9:57AM
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The neighbor has been informed by me back in October, and the association also informed her as well. But she disregards and says she will continue to use her plumbing system as she wants.. she also lied to the association management that she didn't have a washer.. then the association entered her place and found it. the neighbor is uncooporative to the max. The size of my condo is a 2 bedroom and 1 1/2 bath... complex is large holds aprox. 300 units. The board meeting told me that they need to seek legal advise as to who needs to confront this neighbor.. is that stupid or what.. says right in the bylaws that the common elements and area are managed by tha associaton,, your right I do not have any recourse in this matter with the neighbor.. I would like to go after the board, but it cost way too much money. There has to be some kind of state agency to report the board (association) disobeying the condo laws?

    Bookmark   January 27, 2004 at 1:44PM
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Maybe you could get an attorney to send her a threatening letter (for a small fee).

Or maybe you could have the attorney send the letter to the board.

Does your complex have a property management company? They might have some experience with a board not properly maintaining the common elements.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2004 at 6:16PM
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Here is the one place you DO have standing, clout, etc.: damages. If anything of yours were damaged by the overflow, you could sue her for it. Over and over again.

But since it's in the bathroom, which is made to take some water abuse, not much may be being damaged.

I'm not sure you'd be successful if you sued her for what your time is worth every time you had to clean up. Maybe. Or if you hired someone else to come in and clean it up every time it happened, youcould pass that expense along to her as a financial damage.

The nuisance factor might be enough.

Or maybe you could just call her every time it happens and ask her to come down and clean it the mess she made. She might give up just to shut you up. (or she might sue you for harrassment)

The condo has TONS of clout. I know in a co-op they could kick her out (in mine, she'd be out already for lying to the board). But going through all those steps requires a lot of money and a lot of backbone.

It's unsettling to a condo or coop board to yank someone's ownership or right to occupy. So they don't like to do it.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2004 at 10:16AM
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I've lived in my condo for 20 yrs. I'm surprised that people can have a washer above you. As far as I know, all condo's washer and dryer connections are in the basement.

Your management should be able to ask his lawyer how to proceed in this matter.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2004 at 6:31PM
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That sounds like something that condo managment needs to deal with. If you are trying to please your tenants that is certainly not one way to do it!

You're right, its not your place to tell the person how to run their water. It's managements place to ensure that their condos are in good working order.

Here is a link that might be useful: condos

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 7:08PM
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Have you talked to the person on the second floor? Are they getting water damage also? It would help you if another person was complaining about the washer.But as I found out living in a condo,people don't want to get involved. Associations & management companys like it better this way,no one complaining.How easy they have it!
I think almost a year since you first brought this to the attention of the board & they haven't done anything should tell you volumes about they aren't going to anything about this.

By Laws are a joke.I know they are a joke where I'm from.My neighbors had problems with a next door neighbor,a slamming door issue. I have same issue.She had her lawyer send the association a letter to try and work the door slamming issue out.Well the association put the Lawyer off so maney times my friend gave up do to the cost of attorney fees.Association said learn to live with it or move!

Disobeying condo laws,well you can look up your states laws.We can't find anyone in our state to complain to about our association or management company.We can sue...but costing $7,000 to $10,000. is a bit out of my price range.If I had that kind of $$$$$ to toss away I wouldn't be living in a condo in the first place.

Good Luck to you & don't be surprised if they tell you to sue your neighbor, that's it's not thire problem since the main water pipe is fine.This just drops it back into your lap.Aren't they soooo clever???

    Bookmark   December 10, 2004 at 12:44AM
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