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I have several problems in my building of four condo units. I have a new neighbor whose foot traffic and other excessive noises are a source of stress for me, which I have complained about, but the others say that her unit is sufficiently carpeted and that I should expect noise. Secondly, she uses a fire escape on the side of the building (referring to them as "stairs") to access the tandem parking spot in the rear at all hours and also to enter the building. My bedroom window is under the fire escape as is my den, and it is a source of noise, a privacy concern as it looks directly into my apartment, and also a safety concern because I see people I don't recognize going up and down it. The third issue is the tandem parking spot itself. It is supposed to be shared equally, with keys to the cars exchanged, so that whoever is parked on the inside must move the car behind it. I have a manual transmission which she cannot drive, and the board seems to think it is acceptable for me to always park on the inside and be the only one to have to move the cars to get out or to get back in. I wouldn't mind this, but think I should be compensated for the added burden it places on me. The others disagree. We don't currently have rules and regulations for any of these issues and the bylaws are ambiguous. What are my options?
Response: Without rules and regulations addressing your issues, you really do not have any viable options. Your neighbor cannot be penalized for doing something that is not a violation of the rules or your bylaws. You cannot be compensated for being the only one required to park on the inside because your car is a shift and none of your neighbors knows how to drive a shift in order to move your car. Your Association's solution for you to park inside is reasonable because the alternative would be for your neighbors to get someone else who is not supposed to touch your car, but who knows how to drive the shift to move your car. This would be quite a burden on your neighbors. Nevertheless, you can get the Association to address your second issue about your neighbor using the fire escape to access the parking lot. Your Association can have a rule that specifically forbids all residents from using the fire escape to access the parking lot unless there is an emergency. That is the only issue that I see that can be addressed by the Association. The first and third issues do not have acceptable solution. Your neighbor cannot be told not be walking around her unit. Noise is expected when you are sharing spaces in a condo unit. The only way one can control the noise going into his/her space is to live in a single-family home.
I am sorry that I do not have better news for you. However, I have ethical and professional obligation to provide you with accurate information eventhough that information is an unpleasant news.
Let me know if you need further clarification,