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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Everyone

I have been a forced landlord for the past 7 years because I own property that I can't sell because it is so underwater. I would love to do a short sale, but I work in the finance field and don't want to do any damage to my credit.

Anywho, I have new tenants in my unit, they started their lease in May of 2017 and there has been one issue after the other with the condo association. They association has no reserve runds, the last condo President didn't pay the water bill for over a year and we got a 5K water bill, former condo President was misappropriating funds...the list goes on and on

My tenant just contacted me this week to let me know that there is an issue with rats in the building. Her brother found 2 rats in the unti in a matter of 24 hours. I called an exterminator and it was determined that the rodents coming from a hole in the wall behind the kitchen stove that connects to the gas line. The gas line goes to the basement and the exterminator believes that this is how the rodents are getting into the building, from the basement

I contacted the current condo President who lives in the building to inform her about the rodent issue in the building and she was nonchalant about stated that each owner needs to just put down rat/mouse traps and seal any openings in the their units. YES, that needs to happen, but if the holes from the basement aren't sealed and exterminated,  the rodents will still be able to get into the building and the walls. This association has no reserves, several owners haven't paid assocations dues in YEARS and there has been no enforcement on collecting dues that are in arrears.

I feel like I am living a nightmare. I am dealing with an association and owners that could care less about the bills for the building or doing any maintenance for the building. The gas was disconnected last month and the water for the building was scheduled for disconnection.

At this point, I am offering my tenants the option to terminate their lease because I don't want to be in a liability situation with rodents in the building that isn't being addressed by the condo association

Can you all offer some advise on how to handle this? Should I contact the health department to strong arm the association to address the rodent issue in the building?

I sooo wish I could win the lottery, so that I can get rid of this property!!![bawl][bawl][bawl][bawl]

Posts: 434
Reply with quote  #2 
I think you should first look through the HOA agreement. I am betting there is something in there about them being responsible for pest control outside of the individual units (i.e. in the basement). 

I wouldn't think you could be held liable for something that a third party is responsible for, but I also understand you giving your tenants the option to leave. 

What are the real problems? Is it just that no one cares? Does the HOA need a new president? Is there someone else not doing their job that could help even if the president doesn't care? Are there other people like you that would like things to change (and may be willing to step up and take over if needed)?

In the end, yes, I think reporting it may be needed to get someone to take the proper action.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 

This association has a level of dysfunction that I am not used to mainly because it managed by owners and not by a property management company. No reserves funds, owners in arrears to the tune thousands of dollars, terrible bookkeeping, bills that haven't been paid in years. water and gas for the building been shut off in the past. There is now a new association President and I volunteered to be the treasurer but the business decisions that have been made ( unilaterally by the President) in the last two months have forced me to resign as Treasurer.

I have had a discussion with my tenant about the rodent issue in the building and explained that I will do everything in my power to make sure my unit is rodent free which includes monthly extermination services, but if the entire building isn't exterminated that may seem like a moot issue. I have extended the offer to allow them to terminate their lease early due to these issues.

The association President cites that this is not considered an emergency and the association doesn't have the funds to pay for extermination services. In my opinion, either a special assessment needs to be required of all owners to pay for this service OR the people that owe money to the association need to be sent 30 day demand letters. Seriously two person owe more than 7K.

Upon my research I determined that the condo association is indeed required to exterminate the common areas of the building which would include the basement, hallway and walls. The exterminator that came to my unit stated that the rodents were coming from the basement and traveling into the walls, accessing any unit that has a hole. My unit had a hole in the wall behind the stove that connects to the gas line from the basement. I also found that there is a city ordinance requiring buildings to exterminate for rats and bed bugs. It looks like I can file a report with the City/Health Department and an inspector will come out and do an investigation. 

At this point, I am just documenting that I have taken the property measures to deal with the rodent situation in my unit so that I can't/won't be fined by the city as a landlord.


Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #4 

Could you afford to sell the unit at a loss? Would you qualify for a loan for a vacation to Hawaii? You could sell the place at a loss. Use your vacation money if you change your mind about Hawaii and pay off your Mortgage at closing. 

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