Board leaves repair work unfinished
Q: I have work in my condominium unit that the board has not completed. It involves damage to my walls from water coming through the wall and a window due to blowing rain. The board will not respond to my letters and phone calls. After most rainstorms the water comes through the walls and now there is mold showing on the drywall. It is my understanding that the board is responsible for the waterproofing and the replacement of the damaged drywall. Since they do not respond to my written complaints, can I make the repairs and then deduct it from my fees?
A: No, you cannot deduct costs from your fees. The two matters are not the same and deduction can only lead to other problems. Talk to your neighbors and find out if they have the same problems. Send a certified letter to the board and ask them to make the necessary repairs. If your neighbors have similar problems, ask them to send letters as well. If the board does not make the repairs, contact an attorney and have him/her send a demand letter to the board. It may require that you sue the association.
Section 8 tenants trouble resident
Q: I live in a condominium where an out-of-town owner owns about 20 percent of the units. They have a management company that rents the units. The problem is that most of the units are rented to Section 8 tenants. We have gone from a quiet complex to having police here at least twice a week, with domestic disturbances and vandalism as the main reasons. The board insists we cannot refuse Section 8 tenants. Can a majority of owners vote not to allow these tenants?
A: Even if a new rule were approved by a super majority of the owners, the investor-owner would be grandfathered to allow his units to be rented to Section 8 tenants. This is a difficult question to answer because you are addressing a situation of federal laws that may involve discrimination. Normally Section 8 renters have been approved by a government agent. The disturbances and vandalism you discuss can be reported to the government agent as well as the owner. The board can charge the absent owner for the expenses of any damage. Unfortunately, I do not have the final answer.
Richard White is a licensed community associations manager. Write to him at 6039 Cypress Gardens Blvd., No. 201, Winter Haven, FL 33884-4115. Please include your name and city.