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Condo board demanding access to my unit

Discussion in 'Condo & Co-op Issues' started by branimal, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. branimal

    branimal Law Topic Starter Member

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    I had a leak in my apartment's plumbing into the unit below which happens to be owned by the condo board's president (CPB). I stopped the water flow immediately and the issue was resolved.

    I told the CPB three times I would pay for his damages. The first time the morning of the incident, again via text, and another time in person when I ran into him in the hallway of our building.

    Shortly thereafter I receive an aggressively written letter from the Condo’s lawyer demanding:
    1- I pay for his damages
    2 - Provide Liability insurance of $1MM
    3- I provide access to my unit for inspection (access to the units is written into the condo by laws)

    I satisfied # 1 & #2 on the list.

    The letter was full of false claims and exaggerations. They claim they made multiple requests to get access to my unit. With the exception of the request the morning of the incident there was no requests (no calls, no emails, no texts) until i received the letter. The letter described the leak as a flood that caused extensive damage. I do not know the claim amount, but it's greater than $1000 as that's the deductible. There was a drywall repair guy in there for about 3 hours. I could hear him cutting the sheetrock and then I could hear him patching. He must be the highest paid drywall repair guy. Waiting to see the claim.

    I created a claim with my insurance and have agreed to pay the CBP for his damages.

    The CBP's lawyer continues to demand access to my unit and says he will take file for access via the courts if I don't respond by Friday. He's moved this deadline twice as I haven't responded to his prior threats yet.

    I do not want the condo board in my apartment because:

    1. I am doing some minor renovations for which they will try to assess large fees. They will require their renovation fee, a fee for the building manager to coordinate deliveries, a fee for the architect and engineer to review the plans. We're talking about tiling, new toilets, vanity, paint. The leak was NOT caused by my renovations. Side note the building manager and the CBP manage other buildings together elsewhere so there is a potential conflict of interest.

    Everything I am doing is LEGAL for a homeowner to do himself. I had a meeting with the Department of Buildings (DOB) and they verified every element of my renovation.

    2. After I came forward and told my CBP I am willing to pay for his damages via my insurance, he still chose to have his lawyer write a nasty, confrontational letter to me. I am afraid if I let him or his architect in here, they could drum up fees for minor renovations or make requests to have other structural repair work done in my home at my expense. The CBP has lied before and I don't want to expose myself to potentially being extorted by him.

    Can a civil court force me to allow entry?

    Separately the CBP breaks many of the rules in the condo's by laws. He has also alters the rules to suit his own needs. An example - An adjacent unit owner was trying to sell his unit and the by laws were altered to say no open houses on Sunday's (NYC's biggest open house day). The adjacent unit also happens to be above the CBP's unit. Now the CBP is having open houses to rent one of his units on Sunday's. The seller of that unit could have lost a potential buyer.

    I have a list of these offenses and might use them to get his lawyer to back off.


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  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Demands 1 and 2 have been previously addressed here in another thread.

    Demand 3 is very practical. There was a flood and an inspection is required to determine the nature of the flood and ensure repair to prevent future flooding. Access to your residence is necessary, and is governed by contracts you likely signed when moving in, if not by state statute. Yes, if you don't give permission to enter legal access can likely still be made.

    Yes, if you are found to be in violation of hair rules for renovations you can be held liable for penalties.

    Complaining that the president breaks the rules won't work as an excuse for you to do so as well. There is likely an option to good the president accountable that you have precisely chosen to not pursue. It is a separate issue and won't help your argument.

    Review your contracts and know what your obligations are. If you are in violation of the terms then consequences are possible.
     
    branimal and hrforme like this.
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    It's time for you to consult a lawyer or two licensed in your state.

    You are setting yourself up for difficulties otherwise.
     
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  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You have condo liability insurance.

    Refer EVERY notice and contact to your insurance company.

    Tell the CBP that your insurance is handling this and then shut up.

    Army Judge nailed it by writing:

    You may have already said way too much.
     
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  5. branimal

    branimal Law Topic Starter Member

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    Gonna talk to some lawyers tomorrow. Searching Martindale Hubbell.

    Not sure how and if I should respond to the lawyers ultimatum for a date to inspect my apartment before he goes to the “courts”.


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  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The lawyer you retain will do what is legally required, and direct you accordingly.

    In the meantime, I suggest you do nothing if any requests are made of you to do ANYTHING to contact your lawyer.
     

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