Page 18 - New England Condominium February 2019
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18 NEW ENGLAND CONDOMINIUM   - FEBRUARY 2019   NEWENGLANDCONDO.COM  City Versus Suburbs  Management Approaches Change Based on Geography   BY MIKE ODENTHAL  TRENDS  T  he 'big city' is known for its break-  neck pace, as life whirls around   the unprepared out-of-towner in   an overwhelming swirl. Suburbia, on the  city, while an association in the suburbs  with local laws. But outside of the city, you  townhomes frequently require the own-  other hand, is supposed to be a respite  generally occupies more square footage –  have many of those same issues, in addi-  from that intense metropolitan grind – a  or more acreage, to put it more accurately.  tion to sewage treatment, pools, siding,  homes. That can create problems should   place to patiently teach the kids how to  The vertical-versus-sprawl contrast is the  etc. A community with more acres means  they fail or refuse to perform this mainte-  play tee-ball out in the yard until it’s time  biggest variable when it comes to manag-  for dinner.   Of course, the accuracy of these gen-  eralizations varies from person to person   and family to family. But distinctions do  urban high-rise can be easier to handle  what you might hear in the suburbs.  tion to alter – or maintain – any portion   exist  between  urban  and  rural  commu-  nities, and those differences impact how  nity further out from the city,” says John  turbances, especially given how there are  or the public. While this may mean that   those communities are managed and run.  Wolf, CEO of management firm Alexan-  Community associations in more dense-  ly-packed locales have different concerns  York, “because with the latter, you have to  at the litigation department of Marcus  nance than some other types of communi-  and priorities than those in sprawling  consider landscaping, snow removal, and  Errico Emmer Brooks in Braintree, Mas-  townships.   New England Condominium    things of that nature. If you’re looking at  sachusetts. “More often than not, code  having more control over the portions of   spoke with some professionals who have  a high-rise, much of what is vital is con-  worked with both to delve into the simi-  larities and differences.  Population Density  Space tends to be at a premium in the  standard and need to be in compliance  comprised of single-family residences or   ing communities in those respective set-  tings.  “From a management perspective, an  in the city also differ significantly from  do not typically have the right or obliga-  than a garden-type apartment commu-  der Wolf & Company in Plainview, New  tions,” says Jennifer L. Barnett, a partner  ultimately  responsible  for more  mainte-  tained within the building: you have your  municipalities than they do inside of the  can lead to fewer problems.”  boiler, the roof, elevators, heating systems  ily homes on larger lots. But on the flip   and mechanics, which are more or less  side, suburban community associations   that you’re going to have to keep track of  nance, thus creating an eyesore which the   more vendors and contractors.”  The day-to-day complaints one hears   “With city condos, I get a lot of noise dis-  more brownstones and smaller associa-  violations happen more often in large  the property visible to the public, which   city, whether those are related to mice in-  festations or any other sort of pest issue,   balconies, and retaining walls, etc. The   Boston Fire Department makes it a point   to periodically inspect buildings through-  out the city. And if you don’t take care of   a violation right away, they take the next   step and pursue a criminal complaint with   the housing courts.  “In suburban associations, I see more   issues that pertain to contracts,” she con-  tinues. “In the city, it’s less likely that   you’ll have a large area that needs snow   removal or much landscaping work. But   slip-and-fall cases can happen anywhere;   those are pretty evenly dispersed. And I’ve   also found that hoarding doesn’t depend   on the setting; I see that with equal fre-  quency in suburbs and high-end Back Bay   condominiums. There’s no rhyme or rea-  son as to where hoarding behaviors take   place.”  The physical layout of a property or as-  sociation is likely to vary based on where   it is located. “When a high-rise condo in   an urban location has a number of owners   and occupants literally stacked on top of   one another in close proximity, it can lead   to things like noise and odor emanating   from one unit and travelling to another,”   says Benjamin J. Rooney, a shareholder   with law firm Keay & Costello in Whea-  ton, Illinois. “This is less of a concern in   suburban associations, which oftentimes   consist of free-standing single-fam-  ers to maintain exterior portions of those   board must then address.   “In a high-rise,” he continues, “owners   of the property visible to other owners   the high-rise condominium association is   ty associations, it also results in the board   ISTOCKPHOTO.COM

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