New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community
Beth Grimm in Co-op/Condo Buyers on June 15, 2012
Do not act rashly. The squeaky wheel may get the grease in some instances but here, you will just be declared by the board a "disgruntled owner."
Do not get abusive with anyone. People respond in like behavior.
Do not respond by breaking more rules or withholding assessments. This just gets you into more hot water and more frustration.
Do not raise a ruckus. This just turns people against you and makes it harder to get allies when you need them.
Do not threaten a lawsuit unless you know you are right on your position and it is supported by law; you are prepared to push the board to meet in secret or hire an attorney; and you have the overall ultimate goal of selling your unit.
What should you do? Seek advice from someone who knows the law, knows what kind of things happen, and knows how to solve problems and find solutions. If you speak with an attorney, make sure it's someone who specializes in co-ops and condos.
There are ways of approaching a problematic board: Be firm but polite and respectful; make sure your position has solid documentation; seek consensus from like-minded fellow homeowners, so that the board fully understands your position is reasonable and supported; and, again, seek knowledgeable advice from a legal expert.
Beth A. Grimm is a California attorney who specializes in homeowner associations, and the author of The Condo Owner's Answer Book. This is adapted from an article at her blog, Condo Law Guru.
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