How to Get the Attention of a Piss-Poor Condo Association

March 31, 2009 at 7:45 pm Leave a comment

Okay, I can’t say that this will get their attention, but this is an exercise in social media monitoring, as much as it’s a lesson for those of you that have to deal with condo associations.

Attention, Great North Property Management, this is about you.

Generally when you move into a condo, it’s expected that the association will acknowledge your presence and ownership of one of their units. In the form of a welcome letter, a packet with association guidelines, some correspondance about parking permits or some other type of recognition. But, not only did we not hear from them, we actually had to approach them to get any sort of information. Which side storage unit was ours? What was the code to the storage unit? What about parking passes? When will the association start residing our building that we had paid for in the special assessment?

The siding is a hot-button issue. As part of our offer on the condo, the seller agreed to replace the windows. This happened within 30 days of moving in. Fair enough. But, in replacing the windows, they tore off the siding outside, exposing the insulation to the elements. For 5 months:

window frame and siding

It wasn’t until we received the 2009 plan from our association at the end of December that we knew the name of anyone on our board of directors. Also, we found out from that piece of paper that the siding would start in January. I had been emailing our association manager for months for this insight and once in awhile he’d respond with, “oh, in a week or two.” Our heating bill was negatively affected and frankly, it was an eyesore.

When they finally began working on our siding, our door frame shifted and now the door won’t lock. Whiney whiney whiney, I know. But, nothing has been fixed. One out of every 12 emails goes answered, and even then, they don’t provide answers.

So, I’m using this as a forum to see if putting it out there will get me any returns on attention from our association. I’ve voiced this issue with friends, family and my Twitter community, and they provided me with some great advice:

  1. Don’t ever call. Keep it on email so that you have a record of every single piece of correspondance that you sent, whether it gets answered or not. If things need to get escalated, you’re armed with every complaint you’ve ever made.
  2. Most associations have monthly condo association meetings (key word being most). Find out when they are and attend so that you can meet the leaders of the group and get your voice heard. As of this time, we still have never seen a calendar or agenda for an association meeting. We’re trying to scour the web and contact members of the board to get our hands on this insight. A future blog post, for sure.
  3. Borrow a lawyer friend’s letterhead. When in doubt, hint that you have the ability to take legal action. We were ::thisclose:: to doing this in regard to the siding issue (our heating bill! Ugh!), but we received the 2009 plan with the siding timeline just as we started to investigate the legal process. I’ve heard from multiple sources that name-dropping your attorney or penning a note on a lawyer’s letterhead will get you heard MUCH faster than whining via email.

What am I missing? Have you dealt with a crappy, uninterested condo association? Or, are you an association manager? What do you do to make sure your tenants are heard and their problems are solved?


Entry filed under: Condo Associations. Tags: , , , , .

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