Saturday, December 08, 2007

Condo Association Rules and By-Laws: Loud Neighbors

I received the email below the other day from a reader (I assume) of this here real estate blog concerning an unfortunate, but not all that uncommon, condo association issue

I'd like to hear the real estate attorneys chime in on this one...

Good Afternoon, Eric- Hi, I am a new owner of a condo on the West side of
Chicago right off of the Eisenhower expressway; this building has (3) units in
it. Well, for the last (3) months I have had problems with the people on the
floor above me. They are renting the unit above and I have asked them several
times not to play music and bang on the walls at 12am(midnight).
The police
has been there on (8) different occasions and these tenants are repeatedly
making noise. There has not been an association established, yet. But, is there
someone that I can contact in regards to breaking one of the rules that are
mentioned in the bylaw for the condos (Article VII section F) it states that if
a neighbor has become annoying based on the noise made that the association
should do something about this. Is there someone I can talk to? I have contacted
the lawyer for the seller on several occasions looking for help and nothing is
being said or done. Please help.

My response in the email...

Hi Gladys,

I’m sorry for the delayed response. It would be
for me to direct you in this case as I’m not an attorney.
However, some ideas:

First, check with your closing attorney as to
when the developer is supposed to turn over the building to the association (you
and the other owners). There is a time limit from the first sale and/or it
will be based on percentage ownership in the building. You can also confer
with the attorney and check the By Laws on the rules of renting units. There
should be a valid one year lease required in the rules.

My guess is the developer (or whoever owns the building) has rented the unit out to
tenants. If they did this against the rules, you have grounds to kick them out.

Otherwise,if they are really bad, get some evidence together and call on anyone that will listen. Give the developer’s name to the Alderman if he rented the unit to unruly people and now will not help. Sometimes the alderman's office will have relationships with these builders and developers and can persuade them to step up.

But first things first. Contact your closing attorney and see if the
By-Laws and rules are being followed.

I really feel for this owner. There are some tell-tale signs
for buildings and units you should steer clear from. In cases of bad luck,
you have to take the steps outlined in your condos association by laws and fight
the issue to the best of your ability. Try not to go it alone!

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