Q&A: Not So Neighborly Neighbors

Q&A: Not So Neighborly Neighbors

Q. The owner in the unit downstairs from me typically parties late into the night, slams doors, has parked in my driveway, plays loud music, and leaves trash in the condo’s common areas. It seems there is some connection between this person and members of the condo board—I have complained about the behavior and the trash in common areas, but the condo association seems to turn a blind eye. What to do?

                                 — Irritated Owner

A. “While these situations are typically document- and fact-specific, in general, residents living in a community living situation such as a condominium association need to have an expectation of a certain level of noise between units,” says Pamela M. Jonah, partner at Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks  P.C. in Braintree, Massachusetts.  

“Oftentimes, these situations result in a he-said/she-said situation in that one resident is complaining about the activity of another, who then denies same. The board not having been a direct witness is typically powerless to act without some other evidence. 

“The board is charged with the administration of the common areas of the condominium or HOA for the benefit of all owners collectively; they are not the police and cannot resolve individual neighbor disputes. If more than one resident is complaining about noise or other activities by another resident, then the board may have more to act upon. Residents may have their own private causes of action against other residents and may want to seek the advice of their own counsel.  

“Also, a resident may always call the police if they are disturbed or feel threatened by the actions of another resident.  These situations are not always easily resolved, but residents should attempt to work out their differences in a non-hostile manner.”  

Related Articles

Three people meet one. Three people are aggressively attuned to one. People conduct an interview and a meeting. The concept of attack, threats, encounters, education. Businessmen stand in a group of three.

Dealing With Disruptive Residents

Empathy & Education vs. Enforcement & Eviction

Men and women neighbours characters living in neighboring home apartments hear loud music. Flat Art Vector illustration

Noise, Odors, & Leaks: Oh My!

How Co-ops & Condos Can Deal with Conflict

Barricade police tape on the ground at a shooting crime scene

Atlanta Condo Manager Killed by ‘Disgruntled’ Resident

Building Engineer Wounded

Vector illustration teamwork business concept. Group of employees play tug of war, Vector illustration in a flat style

Managing Conflict

When Boards & Residents Take Sides

Q&A: Handling Hoarders

Q&A: Handling Hoarders

Q&A: Handling Hoarders

eviction notice sticker IN front of door - concept showing of tenant foreclosure or rent pending on black background

Removals, Ejections, & Evictions in Condos & Co-ops

When an Owner Has to Go