J Is for Just Be Reasonable Or At Least Not Stupid

I wasn’t able to come up with a real J entry because I’m having issues with my condo association. Here’s the rundown:

I submitted plans and other documents to my condo association for approval of a rebuilding of my deck in September. I got a letter and a phone call acknowledging the receipt of my request. They failed to give me an answer for four months. The local government which doesn’t normally issue permits without approval from a homeowner’s association granted a building permit. Being the reasonable person I am, I gave the go-ahead for the work to be done.

Two months after the fact they decided to send me a letter telling me they didn’t approve of the work, and that I need to submit plans and various other documents regarding the work that has already been done. The only documents they did not already receive was the building permit which (again) is not normally issued by the local government prior to their approval. They also said that multiple attempts to contact me by phone and in person were unsuccessful. Looking over my phone logs, I failed to find multiple missed calls. While I do sometimes work some long crazy hours, it is unlikely that I would miss multiple knocks at my door.

While I was away traveling, my house-sitter contacted my association manager about the water shut-off for my building in order to get some plumbing work done. The association manager then proceeded to discuss issues surrounding the rebuilding of my deck. Since I got back, I’ve called him multiple times to discuss said issues. I’ve received no call back. My house-sitter, on the other hand, has gotten an email from my association manager saying my new handrail is also not approved and will not be approved. I tried calling him again, seeing that he has obviously been able to access his e-mail which would lead a reasonable person to believe he might have been in his office and accessed his voice mail. I have yet to receive a call back.

Things are not adding up for me here. My new deck and handrail do not stand out as significantly different from others in the neighborhood. They look very nice and are very well-built. A realtor working to sell a house in the neighborhood commented at how much my new deck has enhanced the value of my house and consequently the neighborhood. One of my neighbors is so impressed with my new handrail that she has said she would like one like it installed on her front step. Any reasonable person would be happy with the work that has been done. It has enhanced the value of my home and that of the neighborhood, and that is part of the association’s purpose. Discouraging such improvements and alienating current and future homeowners seems pretty unreasonable and downright stupid to me.

So let’s take a step back for a moment and figure things out quickly and peacefully. Let’s be reasonable or at least not stupid.

And as an added bonus, here are pictures of my handrail and that of a neighbor. You can certainly tell the difference if you look closely, but I fail to see how it’s reasonable to say that it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the neighborhood.

My nice, sturdy handrail.
My nice, sturdy handrail.
My neighbor's handrail 12 doors down.
My neighbor’s handrail 12 doors down.

3 thoughts on “J Is for Just Be Reasonable Or At Least Not Stupid

    1. That really sucks. This has sucked up so much time and energy and really taken a toll on my mental health. I’ve really had it. I’m selling and getting away while the market is good.


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