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QUESTION/ANSWER BY: JOHN H. GETTINGER, ESQ.

Question:

Our condo master deed and rules don't get into specifics of flooring types. A ceramic floor was installed improperly, and the board receives complaints from the resident under the unit. I have heard the noise and it's terrible. The resident who had the floor installed has no interest in this issue. As a board what should or what can we do? The resident underneath is a great, long time resident.

Answer:

Condominium by-laws typically provide that "no nuisances shall be allowed on the property nor shall any use or practice be allowed which is a source of annoyance to its residents or occupants or which interferes with the peaceful possession or proper use of the property by its residents or occupants." Your board may enforce this provision against the offending unit owner to the extent permitted under your by-laws. For instance, the board may require the offending unit owner to "fix" the ceramic floor in order to abate the nuisance. In the event that the offending a unit owner fails to do so, then the by-laws typically permit the board (i) to peacefully enter the unit to summarily abate and remove, at the expense of the offending unit owner, the condition, or (ii) to enjoin, abate or remedy the condition by appropriate legal proceedings. If your by-laws permit, the board may also impose fines against the offending unit owner which may continue until such time that the condition is abated by the offending unit owner.

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