Monday, February 4, 2013
Help Me Howard: Clicker
Your condo association makes you pay for a clicker to open the gate. OK thatís fair. Then they make you pay for a second clicker, not good, but OK. Now they want to make you buy a third clicker. One residents response, he called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- If you live in a condo, you want at least two things, Johnny Franco says he has them.
John Franco: "I do like it. Its nice people, nice neighborhood."
Not that Johnny thinks living at Three Horizons East is perfect.
John Franco: "I don’t have any complaints except for the board and I am locked out."
Try to follow me here the board at Three Horizons issued a special assessment to pay for gates and clickers to open the new gate. Then the board required the residents to buy this clicker to open the gate. Now they are requiring residents to buy this clicker to open the gate.
John Franco: "If you sum it all up basically, all the residents here have paid for the clicker three times."
Why? Well, the clicker paid for by the special assessment was never delivered. So the board charged $25 for this second clicker. People like Johnny went online and found it for a cheaper price.
John Franco: "We found it online for $7 and they didn’t like that so they wanted us to go ahead and get another clicker, and now they charge us $50 for it."
Johnny told the board I am not buying a clicker for the third time.
John Franco: "Its a protest. Why should I have to pay for it three times?"
As a result, Johnny now has to park on the side of the street and cant drive into the complex.
John Franco: "I got home from work and I was locked out."
Johnny is not alone. Other residents are upset, even the board members are upset about having to buy the clickers for the third time.
Resident: "Yes I am. I am the secretary, just a name but I have no power, cant do anything because things happening here. We don’t know what’s going on."
The president of the board says, don’t blame me for the clicker chaos. Blame...
Resident: "The treasurer. He is in charge of this not me."
Johnny says she is right about that.
John Franco: The president of the board cannot help. Its the treasurer and vice president who are running the place."
Unhappy condo owners, that’s nothing new. Forcing members to buy a clicker three times and locking them out if they refuse is a little unusual but is it legal?
Howard Finkelstein: "Yes, the board has the right to charge for the clickers as many times as they feel is necessary, and if a resident refuses to pay, they wont be allowed to park their car in their own space. However, you have to allow them to walk onto the property to get to their condo."
I spoke to the treasurer of the board, Alan Scheirber, who everyone agrees leads the board. He called Johnny a troublemaker. He explained that the special assessment money to pay for clickers was confiscated by the bank because a prior board was not making back payments. That’s when Johnny and others went online to buy the second clickers. The board had no idea who had clickers and it compromised security. That’s why they are charging for clickers for a third time. The board minutes don’t show there was a vote, but Schrieber said their minutes are not kept very well and they definitely approved a third charge for the clicker. He added, Johnnie doesn’t have to buy it, but he can't get in the gate without it.
Howard Finkelstein: "When you live in a condo you get the benefit of the common areas, but you may have to surrender some of your rights when the board makes a decision you may not agree with."
This association battle over payments for a clicker may be far from over. While we were with Johnny, he found the $50 clicker online.
John Franco: "This is the clicker they want me to have to purchase. Its $50 and I can find it on Ebay for $14.50 and its really funny."
Patrick Fraser: A condo treasurer and a condo owner butting heads, both convinced they are absolutely right. Isn’t condo living fun? By the way, a new management company is coming in and they told us want to put a keypad on the gate to allow maintenance people to get in. If they do, by law Johnny has to be given the code so he will be allowed to drive in eventually."
Going toe-to-toe and only finding more trouble? The association irritating you? Click us on, hopefully we can open a gate to a solution.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at email@example.com