Condo, Strata and HOA News

Category Archives: Massachusetts

Condo President Indicates Water Leak Not Unusual

I’m not aware of any building code that indicates “the building will be structurally sound, unless stressed strongly by Mother Nature, at which point it’s ok if there’s an envelope failure”. But that’s what Lynn Shore Towers, Massachusetts, Board of Trustees President Robert Trucker said of a resident’s ongoing issue with water running into their unit.

People got heavy torrential downpour over a couple of hours — it’s not unusual that you would have a leak. This isn’t a leak that’s been ongoing that nobody’s done anything about. The problem was solved.

Well, if it still leaks then the problem wasn’t solved.

Previously the owners of the unit had their ceiling collapse because of water damage requiring the couple to vacate the premises over a week, and deal with three months of an open ceiling before receiving a fix. The leak then came back and has been repatched twice.  Now Edward and Maria Mitchell are getting water again.

The role of a board, and the collection of condominium fees, is to ensure the maintenance and repair the common elements (like the roof and overall building envelope). It doesn’t matter the cost or the complexity, or if it only affects one unit in a multi-unit building, repairs must be performed and done well.

Water is one of the most damage causing issues a condominium can face, and it’s never a situation to take lightly. Any water issues should be addressed fully and completely. It’s never, ever, usual that a building should have a leak because of rain – even a horrific downpour.

Owners Throw Hissy Fit Regarding Tenants with Mental Illness

There is an awesome line I once heard – “if you have to spend time explaining what you aren’t, you likely are”. Hence the snicker I had when I read the statement from Michael McMahon of the Admiral Dewey House condominium, in Framingham Massachusetts:

None of us want to come across as ignorant, or superstitious, or prejudiced, but…

Ah, then of course you’re not coming across that way.

The residents of the Admiral Dewey House are upset that two of the units in the building (of 20) have been bought by Cascap Inc – a non-profit that owns and manages properties for state contracts they have. The issue arises that Cascap bought the properties to meet a contract from the Department of Mental Health – to house people with mental illness.

The situation seems pretty clear cut – the units were bought by a corporation, and as such Cascap Inc are not live in owners. The people there will be classified as tenants. Cascap Inc. tenants will have all the same rights, responsibilities and requirements of any other tenant renting a unit from another owner. The corporation and the owners have no extended rights to violate the privacy of these or any other tenants. Neither can they deny the rights to rent, or to inhabit, based on those silly things like race, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

As to the specific issue of these two units being rented by Cascap Inc under contract with the Department of Mental Health – well Mr. McMahon has this to say:

If you think that somebody who is purchasing a unit doesn’t take that into [Cascap Inc’s] acquisition decision, their purchase of a property, then you’re crazy.

Nicely chosen words there Mr. McMahon. Of course you aren’t ignorant, or superstitious, or prejudiced.