Q: My condominium unit purchase included an assigned parking stall, but it is located over a city manhole. I have asked the condo board several times if I can be assigned to another stall because I am worried about losing my keys down the manhole, without any luck. Any suggestions?
Q: My condominium unit purchase included an assigned parking stall with the electric plug-in attached to my unit. The problem is that my stall is located over a city manhole. I have asked the condo board several times if I can be assigned to another stall because I am worried about losing my keys down the manhole. Their reply has always been “No, it is connected to your condo unit and can’t be changed.” They suggested I park in an area where they charge for parking. Why, out of 50 units, am I the only one assigned a stall over the drainage system? I have asked the city to change to a cover with smaller holes, but they said the property owner has to request it. The president of the board said she called, but was told that it is a major drainage system and needs the wider holes. Any suggestions?
A: From your question it would appear that the parking stalls are common property, with owners receiving exclusive use of the stall. This unfortunately makes it more challenging for you in terms of getting a new stall. Your concerns are valid but the corporation may have very limited opportunity to address this. You may want to consider asking the owners to support your move in finding a new parking stall. Are there any other available stalls in the condominium corporation? Further, I would inquire with a drainage engineer to determine whether or not the answer of the condominium corporation is correct.
Helpful Hint: I always encourage boards to be helpful to owners when they have an issue and their concerns are legitimate. That is what living in a condominium is all about.
Helpful Hint: In order for board members to be aware of what they are expected to do, I encourage all boards to provide owners with the documents in advance of an election, so that they have a sense of what their responsibilities would be if they chose to seek a position on the board.
Q: Over two years ago my condo’s interior floor was damaged by a broken eavestrough. The condo board at the time looked at the damage and had a contractor state that the floors had to be replaced — they could not be patched. I have made several attempts to get this resolved, but am getting nowhere with the board and the property management company. I raised my issue at the AGM, saying I wanted this to be addressed. They failed to put that in the minutes, and it seems my problem has been totally ignored. Getting legal counsel would entail a cost close to the cost of just replacing the floors myself. What would you suggest?
A: Unfortunately there is no quick answer to your question. Do you have the support of other owners? If the answer is yes, then I would draft a motion at an AGM or call an extraordinary general meeting to direct the board to either fix your floor, or provide you with a written letter as to their timeline for addressing the issue. This would be the most cost-effective way to handle the problem.
Helpful Hint: Legal costs sometimes outweigh any benefit that will accrue to the owner. I hope there will be a dispute resolution board established this year that will enable you to get a quick answer at a low cost on these types of issues and disputes.