Lesson Learned: Ct Condo Owner Needs To Get Involved Or Sell

When Mary purchased her central Connecticut condo three years ago one of the incentives was that maintenance fees were kept steady.

In 2009 the condo fee was $285 and living in the small complex (less than 50 units) seemed ideal.

Then reality set in. Three months later unit owners faced $400 monthly special assessments for new siding, something that the previous owners failed to tell her would be coming.

From May through July workers put new siding on three sides of her unit. The back of the unit is still not done and workers have moved on to other units.

“Last October during the black out there was a Chimney fire in one of the Unit’s and we all had to pay for a chimney inspection – approx $100.00 – the inspector told us we didn’t have a problem and everything was fine with our chimney just don’t over load it. They were meant to be more decorative than for heating purposes – we use a Duraflame Log every now and again. About a week or two later someone from the Association came around and told us we were not to use the Fireplaces at all that they were a fire hazard. Of course we did not and will not use them for fear that we would hurt ourselves or God forbid anyone else. So why did we have to get them inspected by and inspector of their choice and told by that inspector that there wasn’t a problem with them and then told no you can’t use it,” she wrote me.

Another assessment will be voted on this month for higher insurance premiums.

“I really feel they are not managing the finances correctly and not bidding out to private contractors – instead they are using their old faithful run of the mill handy dandy man to do all this work and it’s not even being done efficiently or in a timely manner. It has become a total disgrace!,” she wrote me.

“I do feel like we are stuck – we can’t sell – who is going to buy with such outrageous fees – We both love it there but fear that in a few years our fees are going to be as much as our mortgage and we will wind up loosing it.

I really think that most people won’t challenge the association for fear of them making everyone’s life miserable and being “marked as the trouble makers” when all we really want is just to live and enjoy a comfortable life.

Is there anything that we can do or are these Condo Associations just allowed to call all the shots and make our lives miserable?”

Unfortunately, I told Mary that she has two choices: Either sell or get involved and run for the board to see if she could help run it better.

Too many first time condo buyers don’t understand what they get into when they buy a condo, especially in a small complex that is not managed by a professional management company.



10 Responses to Lesson Learned: Ct Condo Owner Needs To Get Involved Or Sell

  1. Michelle E. Bell says:

    I live in Valley Village and my fees went from $228.00 a month to $400.00, in addition I write a seperate check for 34.00 for roof assessment fees. I can’t keep up anymore and received a threatning letter from Frank Pilacy, the Boards’ attorney threatning me with exhorbant attorney’s fees and foreclosure on my townhouse if I don’t pay within 30 days days my fees of $1,300.00. I’ve never had a problem paying my fees until Valley Village was dropped by their insurance company and they purchased insurance at a high risk costing condo owners 9,400.00 a month. The Board said in letter we were high risk because THEY filed too many insurance claims, so they had no money to pay for the insurance and passed the increase onto the owners. Only one insurance company would touch them but at a high risk premium. The board took it withoout considering the condo law says insurance should be reasonable. I am handicapped and receiving medical treatment for a serious disorder, and I am considering calling NBC troubleshooters for news coverage as well as other local networks to draw attention to my story.

    • Marianne says:

      GO FOR IT! THAT IS OUTRAGIOUS!! we have a board who has over $100,000 in the bank and wants to raise our fees? They gamble our money in the stock market and now they want to raise our fees. People are fed up with this control freaks. Everyone is responsible for their own roof, their own driveways, sidewalks. etc. The association pays nothing

  2. angel says:

    I hope everybody thinks the someway you are and expose these punks that think they can get away with messing up peoples lifes …..

  3. Jackie Thigpen says:

    I would like to know if a husband and wife can both serve on a condo board or is there a conflict of interest? I’m running for the office of president and my wife would like to run as secretary. Please post an answer. Thank you. JT.

  4. Jackie Thigpen says:

    Jackie Thigpen says:
    November 6, 2012 at 3:31 am
    I would like to know if a husband and wife can both serve on a condo board or is there a conflict of interest? I’m running for the office of president and my wife would like to run as secretary. Please post an answer. Thank you. JT.

  5. Lynn F says:

    Professional is the key word. Most of the condos have board members that need support of an attorney. They do anything for the sole purpose of their own “personal agenda”. One family placed older mom in the unit. She did not have a disability and wanted a handicapped parking space. Also complained constantly of bugs and stated her front door area should be power washed. Problem: sharing becomes a nuisance when you see this type of tenant. You get these nuts that live in the units.

    Good luck to you.

  6. Davonnah says:

    I would like to know if my board can adopt a budget n and then have a meeting with the unit owners at 7:30pm and because the place they chose to have the meeting at didn’t realize it was that day and told us we had to leave at 7:45 my thing is we didn’t have sufficient time to talk about the assesment well we left and the assesment they said was ratified and we have to start paying September 1,2015 is there anything I can do to let them know this wasn’t timely and we didn’t have time to talk about the budget

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