Nothing is perfect, not even the condominium you live in. Your real estate agent or developer representative might have made promises upon showing you the property, but some problems in condo living may arise in the first few years of your residence. From troublesome neighbors to violations of building codes, property management problems could either be inevitable circumstances or simply the developer’s liability.
Moving forward, what you can do as a good condo resident is to address these condo problems in a calm manner. Keep in mind that these problems in condo are fixable, and the best way to go around it is to let the management know your concerns. It’s also important to know the appropriate methods to communicate with the condo management as you’d still want to maintain a good relationship with them since you’d be dealing with them during your entire stay in the unit. But as far as communication goes, be aware of the possibility of taking legal matters to your own hands as your rights as a property owner might be compromised. Thus, here are some ways to report problems in the condo and get positive results.
Ask Your Neighbors
If you’re having problems like faulty plumbing or flooding garages, the thing is your neighbors might be suffering from the same agony, too. Thus, don’t be ashamed to tell them your concerns and ask them if they’re experiencing the same inconvenience (or if they know someone from another floor who does). You can also inquire about the steps they did to address the problem and if they got a response from the management.
Put It in Writing
You need to make every word count. If your concerns involve two or more problems, your property management report template must summarize those incidents with specific details and state how they’ve affected you, your family, or even your neighbors (after all, you’re in the same condo). Be clear that you need the management to take action in a polite manner.
Enrico Cruz, president of Urban Institute of Real Estate, said that the letter should be properly received by the developer, signed as received by the receiving staff or clerk, indicating the “received from” date. That said, you’d need two copies of the letter – one for you and one for the management.
File a Written Complaint
Cruz suggested a seven-day window for the management to reply. Otherwise, file a written complaint with the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, attaching the letter sent to the developer. Make sure to include the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Associations Inc. or Subdivision and Housing Developers Association in the loop. Why? These are essential organizations from which the developer, such as DMCI Homes, seeks membership and are the watchdogs of the written contracts and commitments the developer had with buyers.
Tell Media About It
No one wants an uncooperative developer. It’s probably one of the few things would-be condo buyers aren’t aware of. Thus, Cruz suggested to send media organizations your complaints so the public can be informed and be warned from being in the same situation. You can also bring the matter to social media. Who knows – you might even save someone from utter inconvenience and help others address the same problems, too.
Documentation Is Important
Condo problems can be very serious. That’s why you need to make sure your complaints are properly documented. Aside from received letter copies, keep pictures of the defects, receipts, certification of engineers and other related professionals, and even your contract with the developer (if any). You’ll never know when you’d soon need these in court (if it ever gets there).
Consult a Professional
Should all else fail, Cruz said that your best option is to consult with a property expert or a lawyer who specializes in property laws so you’re aware of your legal options. Was there a violation? Can you press charges? What are the penalties? Is settlement a good option? The experts can address just that.
Take It to Court
This should be your last resort when dealing with condo problems and solutions. After exhausting all your means to resolve the conflict with your developer, sometimes it’s better to let the law decide for both parties. Take this as a means of defending your rights as a property owner. There could also be huge money involved.
Grace Under Pressure
Being in a compromising situation with your developer could be stressful and difficult, that’s why keeping your composure is very important. As far as composure goes, being a good condo resident despite tumultuous times would prove to be a great challenge – but it doesn’t mean it’s not doable. Here are some ways to become a good condo resident despite condo problems.
- Reading is fundamental. Never let yourself be kept in the dark by policies, terms and conditions, bylaws, and whatnot. Knowing the rules can be your protection. Be vigilant; keep yourself updated.
- Pay up. Being responsible with paying your monthly fees could turn up to your favor if you’re in the middle of a dispute with the management.
- Amenities for purchase and lease. Being an owner is different from being a renter as far as cost and amenities are concerned. Clarify with your developer your privileges, what fees you might not be aware of, and how to deal with condo amenity problems should the need arises.
- Be considerate. You purchased or rented a condo unit, but not the entire establishment. Be respectful of the communal space you share with your neighbors the same way you want them to be respectful to you. Keep the noise down. Don’t smoke wherever you pleased. After a swim, at least get yourself dried before going back to your unit.
Condo problems and solutions need not always be complicated. But if worst comes to worse, it’s crucial to know your rights as a condo owner or renter and defend them in such clever fashion. Being a good condo resident can also be your prevention-better-than-cure, so as much as possible, keep calm and be responsible.