Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Help Me Howard: Parking Decals
Condo complaints are all too common in South Florida, but this may be a new one. Residents in one complex are upset over new parking decals and what they reveal for all to see left them with sticker shock. They turned to Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- If you live in a condo filled with commandos, odds are you feel this way.
Natalia Cundari: "It was a friendly community, and now it's like everyone is complaining about everything."
The latest complaint at this Doral condo? The new parking stickers they are sticking the residents with.
Natalia Cundari: "I feel that they are just violating our privacy."
And this is no ordinary decal; it's really revealing.
Natalia Cundari: "The sticker says 'Leeward at Islands at Doral.' That is the name of the community, and then it says the address of your house and the unit number."
That's right, the new decals list the residents' building and unit numbers, along with the full name of the complex. Refuse to put it on your car and it will be towed. Natalia says the only people applauding this decision, besides the board, are South Florida's crooks.
Natalia Cundari: "I'm worried, I'm with my kid, so many thing happens. If I just get some cash out of my bank and somebody exactly knows where I'm going in, if I'm alone, if I'm with my son, whatever, they will know everything."
Heck, the crooks don't even have to follow her home from the bank, just see her go in and head over to her ungated community to take her cash when she arrives.
Natalia Cundari: "I never saw this kind of stickers around in not even the biggest community."
She probably never saw them because of the risk they put residents in, so Natalia contacted the condo's management company to try and get some answers.
Natalia Cundari: "I wrote them an e-mail three weeks ago, and they don't even answer me. We don't get any answers."
She then contacted the condo board that approved the revealing sticker idea.
Natalia Cundari: "I request the board to talk about the issues; they never answer."
Actually, Natalia thinks the board will see its mistake after someone is followed home and hurt.
Natalia Cundari: "We have to wait until something wrong happens to make this change."
But can a condo board force residents to display stickers with information about their address, Howard?
Howard Finkelstein: "Common sense tells you this is a bad decision, but the Legislature gave condo boards the power to run their associations. Unfortunately, that includes the right to make terrible, dangerous decisions and, in this case, the board did."
When we contacted the management company, the president told us they put the addresses on the stickers to make it easy to contact owners if they park in the wrong space, but she did talk to the board about the dangers, and the board finally saw the light, did a 180 and, in this letter, dumped the revealing decals. The president of the management company tried to convince us the board should be applauded, telling us, "I hope you paint the decision to listen to residents in a positive light." Howard says it actually points out something else.
Howard Finkelstein: "This is a perfect example of why you need to either go to the board meetings or keep up with the agenda. That way you can stop terrible decisions before they are made, instead of having to react afterwards."
Natalia is grateful the revealing decals have been dumped, but she has had enough of the condo commandos and has put her place up for sale.
Natalia Cundari: "I'm trying to sell it because it is very hard just being here. It's hard. I'm tired of the association."
Patrick Fraser: "The one question I had if your association does something like this, and someone gets robbed or killed, can they be liable? Howard says no because rarely, if ever, is anyone responsible for the independent criminal act of a third person. In other words, the law blames the criminal for the crime. Wow, what a concept."
A sticky situation stuck you in a bad spot? Don't let a board's shenanigans whack you upside the head? Contact us, we aren't the brightest bulbs in the batch, but the information we reveal won't put you in danger.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
EMAIL: email@example.com (please include your contact number when emailing)