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dolphinmoon, Real Estate Law Answer Team
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2293
Experience:  Real Estate Law Expert
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This started when the board hired a contractor to redo our

Customer Question

This started when the board hired a contractor to redo our balconies. The work was horrible. When I complained the builder yelled and called me names. He then told my neighbors that I'm a Excuse the language. Now they are haraasing me. They stole some chairs I had under the balcony claiming they were in a common area. I agree with this, but the condo board itself has benches and picnic table in a common area. Almost all of my neighbors also have items in the common area. Last night a cop showed up at my door because I warned some of my neighbors about the contractor. I hired a lawyer and he just keeps telling me to move. This is not an option. I need help
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  A.M. replied 10 years ago.

Someone should have the Condo By-Laws which detail how disputes like this should be handled. If you don't have a copy, perhaps a neighbor does, or the developer who built the condo, the management company that runs it (they certainly will) or the realtor who sold you the condo. The By-Laws should cover the procedure to follow in this case - you should probably attend the next meeting of the condo board and calmly go over your concerns here and then get the Board to agree on some action that will determine your rights here. If the balconies were poorly done, you will want to bring this up to the Board and perhaps they shouldn't pay bill, or demand corrections. If you cannot handle this at the Board level, and if they are harassing you, you can file a temporary restraining order or order of protection against whomever is doing this to you - but it doesn't sound like you are in physical danger here. Why not hire an attorney to attend the next Board meeting with you to speak for you and get some action taken re: this matter?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I cannot find an attorney to take the case, plus I really don't have the money.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I still have not heard back from my reply to your answer, so I'll restate it here, and add some new info.
I cannot find an attorney to take the case, plus I do not have the money to hire an attorney.

Your reply states that there should be information in the condo by laws about how to handle disputes. I went through everything they sent me and can not find this information.

Thank you,
Expert:  dolphinmoon replied 10 years ago.


I can appreciate the concerns you have and it seems that the other expert was correct about needing to obtain a Restraining Order or Order of Protection against this contractor and file a complaint with the Board, however, I do not believe your state has such an order for harassment but rather for Domestic Abuse only. I am not sure if you are a senior citizen or not, but if you are, there could be additional repercussions to the contractor, go HERE. This is also the site for Legal Aid in your state, and they may be able to help you will the harassment issues. You need to first file a report of the harassment to the local police and get a hearing on the motion for a restraining order (if they will allow for it because you are not related to the abuser). Go HERE to learn more and HERE to contact your local police. You do have to be careful about what you say and do as well. You stated that you "warned some neighbors about the contractor", he can file civil charges against you for Defamation and/or Slander if that continues, read more HERE. You also should consider filing a civil claim against him (with this form HERE and others HERE) as well for the Harassment (Personal Injury) and the destruction of your property, read more on Civil matters HERE and Personal Injury HERE. In the By-laws or covenants of your Condominium is should state the policy for filing a complaint with the Board, look for it under that. Also, check to see what the policy is if you have the work re-done if they will pay for it as you are not happy with the contractors work. (You could be eligible to take this off of your maintenance fees.) If your neighbors are willing to stand with you, then I recommend calling a meeting with the board so that you all can voice your concerns; perhaps get a petition as well to have the work redone, halted until the matter can go before the board, or stopped completely. You can also write a letter to the Board demanding that they address the probably within so many days or you will being to withhold fees and perhaps retaining legal counsel for a suit against them.

I believe in regards ***** ***** of the issues, it may be more clear if you actually read the Illinois Condominium Property Act HERE. If you will click on the links on the RIGHT HAND side of the page you will be able to read each section in detail, even the last one which states how to resolve disputes.

If you need further assistance, please contact me with additional information or questions. Good luck & God bless!

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I don't think I made it clear in my original question, it's the condo association that is harrassing me, and spreading lies about me and certain events, not the contractor at this point. I will however check into filing suit against the contractor. Can I do this since he was hired by the association?

I have done what our rules state and the states laws by sending certified letters to the association. When I requested documents about the balconies (bids, cost, contractor name and license, and a copy of meeting minutes and association rules, etc) I was ignored. I finally hired an attorney to request these and then they did comply, but other letters as to having my balcony fixed, etc. have been unanswered. I have tried all the normal correct channels for getting this resolved, but what can I do when I am ignored? I can't even say for sure whether any of my complaints were brought to the attention of the board. I believe it is the property manager that is at fault.
Expert:  dolphinmoon replied 10 years ago.

In reference to if you can sue him, absolutely, UNLESS there is some clause in the Bylaws or Covenants that state you must go through arbitration first. If you will look at the Illinois Condominium Property Act HERE you can read not only how to handle the dispute, but what the managers responsibilities are. If you write a letter, having it to be signed for, as guaranteed acceptance, demanding a hearing with the Board about this matter but still receive no satisfaction, then they are in breach of their contractual terms allowing you this process and you can begin to take legal action with a civil suit of breach of contract. The harassment is a criminal act but I am not sure what type of harassment you are suffering from in reference to the Board themselves. Are they treating you with hostility? Demanding more from you then any other tenant? Verbally abusive? Also, are you a senior citizen?

My best recommendation is to file a civil claim of Personal Injury (harassment if it can be proved and mental anguish for fear of retaliation by them) as well as Property Damages in the amount of the balcony. Also contact the Association HERE and HERE, they help regulate such things as this. In addition to complaining to these associations and filing a civil claim, I have no other options for you that you have not already tried.

I wish you the best of luck & pray things are resolved quickly for your sake. Good luck & God bless!

dolphinmoon, Real Estate Law Answer Team
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2293
Experience: Real Estate Law Expert
dolphinmoon and 9 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Ok, thanks for taking the time to help me out.
Expert:  dolphinmoon replied 10 years ago.
You are more than welcome; I wish I had a more definite resolution for you. I hope that reporting it to these other advocates will help in some way. Good luck & God bless! May God shower His great love and many blessings down upon you!