Question from a reader about conversions

By guest contributor Anonymous

I live an a condo building that was recently converted from apartments. We have not paid HOA dues yet, the developer is still managing the building. Recently the sales office closed. The developer has secured a tenant who now occupies the former sales office. Currently, the receptionist for the sales team is occupying our lobby. Additionally, the sales team has been keeping the front door of our building open so anyone can walk in (I believe the sales team office is in an unsold unit on the top floor). NUMEROUS times I have come home to an unlocked entrance door with no receptionist in sight. As if this weren’t bad enough, they are now also keeping our rolling garage gate completely open so that potential buyers can pull right in with unlimited access. There is NO SECURITY in the garage. Anyone could pull in and walk through the common areas and loiter as they please.

Urbnlivn-ites, do you have any advice on how to address these issues? With the developer still managing the building, are the tenants without rights as far as building access needing to be restricted? Obviously the building will migrate to HOA at some point. But now matters most to me. This building is not in a vacuum in outer space where no one walks by. Everyone from commuters to vagrants to stadium event attendees pass by our building every day en masse. I am frustrated by a lack of response to these issues so far with building management. Can anyone provide some talking points for me?

All the best,
Anonymous

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts, floating homes and mid-century moderns.

For years Matt resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be an executive in the startup world but he recently caved in the spring of 2014 and became an agent.

You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • MJ

    Look to the documents that govern the running of the condo and the remedy for breach. Call an attorney.

  • MJ

    Look to the documents that govern the running of the condo and the remedy for breach. Call an attorney.

  • Andrea S.

    The public offering statement will detail when the developer must turn over control to the association. If it is true and you have more than 70% of the homeowners that have closed on their home, it goes to reason that the association might be able to take control.

    However, if there is no clause, then it is up for litigious debate.

    I doubt there is a breach… especially considering you are not paying homeowner dues…

    Read your POS… it’s in there somewhere!

  • Andrea S.

    The public offering statement will detail when the developer must turn over control to the association. If it is true and you have more than 70% of the homeowners that have closed on their home, it goes to reason that the association might be able to take control.

    However, if there is no clause, then it is up for litigious debate.

    I doubt there is a breach… especially considering you are not paying homeowner dues…

    Read your POS… it’s in there somewhere!

  • Anonymous

    I have been assured numerous times that 70% have been SOLD. Clearly 70% have not been CLOSED. The developer is using a condo marketing firm to run the sales, and I believe said firm is a business holding of the developer.

    To me, and to other residents, it is not a matter that should be handled by litigation. It’s a matter of having a building with locked doors located in a downtown or urban core. It’s baffling to suddenly inhabit a place with less security than the public library.

    Is it truly necessary for the HOA to be in control to determine that entry doors cannot be unlocked all day?

  • Anonymous

    I have been assured numerous times that 70% have been SOLD. Clearly 70% have not been CLOSED. The developer is using a condo marketing firm to run the sales, and I believe said firm is a business holding of the developer.

    To me, and to other residents, it is not a matter that should be handled by litigation. It’s a matter of having a building with locked doors located in a downtown or urban core. It’s baffling to suddenly inhabit a place with less security than the public library.

    Is it truly necessary for the HOA to be in control to determine that entry doors cannot be unlocked all day?

  • Bob

    Have you complained? If they don’t listen, just take the matter into your own hands. Post signs that say “This building is lax in security. Buy at your own risk.” Close the doors every time you see them opened.

  • Bob

    Have you complained? If they don’t listen, just take the matter into your own hands. Post signs that say “This building is lax in security. Buy at your own risk.” Close the doors every time you see them opened.

  • Peckhammer

    “There is NO SECURITY in the garage.”

    And short of hiring an armed security guard, there never will be. I think the term you are looking or is “controlled access.” I’d start calling whomever is in charge and tell them that lack of controlled access is putting residents life and property at risk.

  • Peckhammer

    “There is NO SECURITY in the garage.”

    And short of hiring an armed security guard, there never will be. I think the term you are looking or is “controlled access.” I’d start calling whomever is in charge and tell them that lack of controlled access is putting residents life and property at risk.

  • Anonymous

    The intent was to indicate we had been stripped of controlled access. Thanks for clarifying, I would hate to have any armed anyones in or around the building. Which is also kind of the point.

  • Anonymous

    The intent was to indicate we had been stripped of controlled access. Thanks for clarifying, I would hate to have any armed anyones in or around the building. Which is also kind of the point.

  • Peckhammer

    “I would hate to have any armed anyones in or around the building.”

    Well, after a little urban living, you may find the fact that Washington is a “Shall Issue” state to be of comfort.

    Despite my parking garage having multiple layers of controlled access, there are people walking around with crowbars who break into cars for the change in the change trays, stereos or sometimes the whole vehicle. If you get between one of these villains and an exit, you may wish you were the “armed anyone.”

  • Peckhammer

    “I would hate to have any armed anyones in or around the building.”

    Well, after a little urban living, you may find the fact that Washington is a “Shall Issue” state to be of comfort.

    Despite my parking garage having multiple layers of controlled access, there are people walking around with crowbars who break into cars for the change in the change trays, stereos or sometimes the whole vehicle. If you get between one of these villains and an exit, you may wish you were the “armed anyone.”

  • fooman

    In my unit in Ballard, not only do the scumbags get into the ‘controlled access’ garage in order to break into cars, they cleaned out every storage unit about six months ago. Welcome to condo living!

    The way I see it now, it is probably more secure without the rollup door. That rollup door gives them a nice, safe place to lurk until the coast is clear to start smashing windows (or someone’s face)

  • fooman

    In my unit in Ballard, not only do the scumbags get into the ‘controlled access’ garage in order to break into cars, they cleaned out every storage unit about six months ago. Welcome to condo living!

    The way I see it now, it is probably more secure without the rollup door. That rollup door gives them a nice, safe place to lurk until the coast is clear to start smashing windows (or someone’s face)

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    When I lived at The Carroll (apartment building going condo on Capitol Hill) our ‘secure garage’ was repeatedly broken into. It happened so often they eventually hired a security guard and upped our fees. I think it’s safer to park on the street on Capitol Hill because there is so much foot traffic.

    fooman, that sucks about the storage units! I’m happy that my Trace unit has the storage unit on the same floor as my unit.

  • http://blog.mattgoyer.com Matt

    When I lived at The Carroll (apartment building going condo on Capitol Hill) our ‘secure garage’ was repeatedly broken into. It happened so often they eventually hired a security guard and upped our fees. I think it’s safer to park on the street on Capitol Hill because there is so much foot traffic.

    fooman, that sucks about the storage units! I’m happy that my Trace unit has the storage unit on the same floor as my unit.

  • EconE

    4 cars were keyed recently in the 2200 Westlake Azur/Arte garage.

    Can’t really decipher what happened in the Aria/Whole Foods garage recently but Chucky blogged about it.

    http://www.2200life.blogspot.com

  • EconE

    4 cars were keyed recently in the 2200 Westlake Azur/Arte garage.

    Can’t really decipher what happened in the Aria/Whole Foods garage recently but Chucky blogged about it.

    http://www.2200life.blogspot.com

  • mhays

    A letter from an attorney detailing the developer’s and marketer’s potential liability might do the trick. They’re probably noobs who haven’t thought it through.

  • mhays

    A letter from an attorney detailing the developer’s and marketer’s potential liability might do the trick. They’re probably noobs who haven’t thought it through.