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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 38185
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I live in a Condex in which I own one side and someone else

Customer Question

I live in a Condex in which I own one side and someone else owns the other. I have been there 16 yrs and had them sign an Arbitration Agreement which has been signed by all owners since I have been there. One of the things listed on the Arbitration Agreement is that both parties are responsible for the cleanup of the yard. Right now they have not done anything with regards ***** ***** yard and have a small yard sectin on their side where they did rake up leaves and put them in green plastic bags at the top of the common driveway. There is about 50 bags there which are an eyesore. They have been there for 2 months. They also have their garbage barrel on a common walkway, overflowing with garbage and refuse to move to under their deck and behind the house. Needless to say, this is what you see as you pull in the driveway. Can I file for a court order for a judge to demand they clean this up?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: New Hampshire. I am a single woman and this is lowering the value of my property. If I was to go and sell my side, under these conditions, it will not sell. They purchased the place in Dec 2016. They also allow their dog to go to the bathroom on their deck.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not yet, I would like to but I am not sure how to go about it.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: They have been extremely uncooperative, there is no talking to them. They will not answer the door when I knock and I have written a very nice letter only for them to come back with a very nasty letter.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
How can I find out exactly what the common areas are. I looked on my deed and it doesn't really mention walkways.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Please help.
Expert:  Barrister replied 3 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

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What does the arbitration agreement say happens if one party breaches it?

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Does it require more arbitration or is it silent?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
CONDEX ARBITRATION AGREEMENTIN THE EVENT THE UNIT OWNERS ARE UNABLE TO OBTAIN A CONTROLLING VOTE AND ARE DEAD LOCKED, THE PENDING ISSUE SHALL BE DETERMINED BY ARBITRATION AS FOLLOWS: EACH OF THE TWO (2) UNIT OWNERS SHALL CHOOSE A REPRESENTATIVE TO REPRESENT THEM WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS AFTER EITHER OWNER MAKES DEMAND FOR ARBITRATION UPON THE OTHER UNIT OWNER. THE TWO (2) REPRESENTATIVES SHALL CHOOSE A THIRD PARTY TO ACT WITH THEM AS ARBITRATORS WITHIN TEN (10) DAYS OF THEIR APPOINTMENT. THE THREE (3) ARBITRATORS SHALL RENDER THEIR DECISION WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER THE THIRD ARBITRATOR IS CHOSEN. THE VOTE OF THE MAJORITY OF THE ARBITRATORS SHALL CONTROL. THE COST OF THE ARBITRATION PROCEDURE SHALL BE PAID BY THE UNIT OWNERS’. IF THIS MATTER DOES RESULT IN COURT COSTS THE NEGLIGENT PARTY WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR COURT COSTS.THE FOLLOWING ITEMS ARE TO BE INCLUDED IN THIS AGREEMENT: VINYL SIDING (CLEANING AND REPLACEMENT), FRONT STAIR CASE, WELL AND EVERYTHING CONNECTED/RELATED TO THE WELL, THE SEPTIC, LEACH FIELD AND ALL PIPING, ROOF, DRIVEWAY, LAWN & LANDSCAPING AND FOUNDATION. THIS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT IS BETWEEN THE PROPERTY OWNERS OF 38L/38R SCENIC DRIVE, DERRY NH, 03038.
Expert:  Barrister replied 3 months ago.

Ok then that means that you have to notify the other party that you are going to seek arbitration and submit the matter for binding arbitration to the 3 arbitrators.

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That means that both of you will have to split the costs of the 3 arbitrators and then when they render a decision telling the neighbor to clean up their yard, if they don't, then you can file suit for breach of contract..

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Arbitration is great in big cases like real estate contracts and business disputes, but it can get expensive for little things like this and it is much easier to just sue the other party for private nuisance if they are doing something offensive..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
am I to understand that I can sue them for private nuisance? If I went to the court house, could I get a "court order" - "demand to clean up" served to them? I was told that by someone else, but not sure if it is true. Your a lawyer, does the court or judge do anything like that?
Expert:  Barrister replied 3 months ago.

You could...if there was no arbitration agreement in place... When you got them to agree to that, you voluntarily gave up your rights to just sue them every time they er doing something irritating.. You now have to go through arbitration first...then you can sue if they don't abide by the arbitrator's decisions.

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So the judge only has the authority to do something if they don't do what the arbitrator tells them to do. That is why I don't like arbitration agreements for simple situations like this.. because it turns into a whole long drawn out process to get a simple decision.... you have to get the 2 arbitrators and then they pick a 3rd and then they all decide on an order.

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Way more complicated than just filing a small claims court action if you didn't have the arbitration agreement....

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So I think you may have thought it would make things easier with it and less expensive, but it actually does the opposite..

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You might want to try and call the local Code Enforcement office and file a formal complaint and mention that you thought you might have seen a rat in the pile of bags.... that tends to get them out to inspect and cite the owner for any violations pretty quick.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I will try that route, thank you so very much. One last question please........
Expert:  Barrister replied 3 months ago.

You are very welcome.. Glad to help..

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Fire away..

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Do you know where I can find out the exact common areas are on the property. Where they put their barrel is on a walkway that runs from the common area of the basement, under their deck and on the side of their house to the driveway. I strongly believe that is a common walkway but I need proof in order for them to move their barrel. I have been using that walkway for years to bring my garbage barrel out to the end of the driveway for pickup. We share a driveway as well.
Expert:  Barrister replied 3 months ago.

You would have to get a copy of the Bylaws that state what the common areas are that are commonly owned. Normally these are areas that are owned by all the condo owners or an Association and are maintained by dues paid. Like sidewalks and parking lots and recreational areas..

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If you get a copy of any overhead plat from the local land records office, it might have common areas designated on the overhead plat.

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But normally they are stated in the Bylaws for the Association if they aren't specifically stated in your deed.

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So I tend to agree with you that a sidewalk coming from a common area is highly likely to be a commonly owned sidewalk..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thank you again for your help, truly appreciate it.
Expert:  Barrister replied 3 months ago.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time.

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the caption and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

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If you feel I have answered all your questions, I would very much appreciate a 5 star rating by clicking on the rating scale on your screen as that is the only way I receive credit for my work.

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Thanks much

Barrister