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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116715
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I purchased a 1970's condo with very little updates. I am

Customer Question

I purchased a 1970's condo with very little updates. I am completely remodeling and one major update is a tankless gas water heater. This requires a gas line/meter. Avista utilities put together proposal and called the phone number that was on the letter head for my HOA. I later found out this is my neighbors number who is not on the board but is just the treasurer. He is not very nice and has made it very clear he does. To want gas in HIS building, and he basically had a road block for every suggestion Avista had for the install. When I spoke with Avista and found this out I was very upset and asked that he please email the proposal to the board. So he did,and the board members had other questions and he answered them and then I waited almost 4 weeks until the board meeting to find out that they didn't like the location of the meter and that it would have to be in the place that Avista had originally suggested but now with a section of fence to block it from the street viewmad that I would have to pay for the fence since I wanted the gas meter. I told them that was fine I just need this done so the plumbers can finish and we can move in. I then went on to explain the ventilation for the water heater could be right next to the dryer vent and look exactly like the dryer vent the dimensions everything. Now they are telling me they need pictures and that it can't be on the front or side of the condo so they want to know location. I am finding this request absolutely unreasonable the dryer vent is on the side and is so close to the soffit that the shadow of the soffit blocks you from even seeing the vent cover and its painted same as siding and this is right where the new vent needs to be because the pipes run the same direction as floor joists and they are right next to eachother in the same place in laundry room. To vent a completely different direction would require tearing out ceiling and drilling holes thru floor joists to come out a back wall where it is a strange rock siding that would be completely noticeable. I feel this is beyond ridiculous when you won't be able to even see the vent the way I am suggesting and other building have all kinds of things on the sides f them. I believe my neighbor is making this difficult because he doesn't want me to have gas meter and thinks he can exhaust me and win. I also think the HOA president is way to young and lacks common sense and looks to my neighbor for advise not realizing how ridiculous the request is. It's not like I am asking to paint my door purple. I am upgrading utilities and as it is my famiily and I can't even move in we have been waiting for over 30 days
For there decision for them to just turn around and start process over and now waiting again over 10 days and this is causing financial hardship. When I asked if they could vote by email and please get back to me quickly the president informed me that they are all volunteers and that when they get to it they get to it and that they have a scheduled meeting every 30 days. I ah e already waited 30 and it's getting cold and can't wait any longer-- I don't know what to do, please help me.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state the association is in?
Customer: Washington
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: Just a proposal from Avista and my email giving detail of vent for water heater
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I cant
think of anything except my neighbor is a complete bully and tries to sound knowledgeable and all lawful and he thinks that this is just funny and he is enjoying the fact that he is stalling the process I could hear him thru the walls just cackling about it. Really disturbing
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Legally, they can require you to submit plans and drawings to satisfy the board. Once you do so and they continue to make further unreasonable requests, THEN at that time you would have legal grounds to file suit against them for unreasonable denial of approval, which would then violate the bylaws. The only thing though you can legally do is once you provided all of the documents you can provide to satisfy their requests and if they do not decide, then you need an attorney to file suit against the association and force them into court.