Home Selling in 90814>Question Details

Tclbeach, Home Seller in 90814

What are my chances of selling my condo? Selling because upstairs neighbors refuse to fix hardwood floor and leaking balcony.

Asked by Tclbeach, 90814 Sat Oct 23, 2010

Neighbors bought the upstairs condo the summer of 2007 and installed a hardwood floor without any underlayer. When they walk it sounds like loud stomping and creaking. The balcony leaks because their balcony had tile installed and caused the leaking problems. I've tried to work with the upstairs owners and the HOA Board. The neighbors stall and delay and refuse to do anything. The HOA Board had fined in 2008 and 2009 then waived the fines when an agreement was made to have the floor fixed. The floor wasn't fixed but the Board negated the fines anyway. Board has been very neglectful and uncommunicative. I feel I should just sell and take a huge loss. I'm thinking my chances of selling are pretty slim.

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I think your situation is a tough one. One that many of us who have owned condo's or have had to deal with HOA's have had to deal with. It is extremely frustrating. I think the HOA should force the correction of the problem. And since they have not done so, I would suggest you consider legal counsel. Getting a lawyer is expensive and can be more frustrating than the problem you have now. I would suggest though that one solution might be a service I use and sell as well....Prepaid Legal Services. Please call me and let me tell you about them. The number one issue they deal with is real estate issues.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 22, 2011
Dear Tclbeach,
You must disclose any defects with the property, and in my professional opinion, this will scare off some potential buyers. Given that issue, along with your taking a huge loss on your investment, I would say it is not a good time for you to sell.
It would be better for you to retain a good Real Estate Attorney to go over what your legal rights are in this case. You should be able to get action taken, repair the defects, and then have a place you are happy with until the market is more in your favor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 13, 2011
The balcony is clearly a problem and will have to be disclosed. Like others I am surprised board has not jumped on them as it could cause structural damage to the building.

I wonder, though if the noise is an objective or subjective problem. I had someone living above who complained because I was typing on my computer key board at 2 and 3 in the morning. Now clearly he heard something or he wouldn't have know I was typing. But the board and others agreed after investigation that I was not being a nuisance. When he was transferred he did not have to disclose my typing.

In terms of insulation you might not have to rip the ceiling. Have you tried to have acoustic material sprayed on? If you already have a layer would adding a second help? How about cork tiles. These are just some suggestions that might make the situation more bearable for you
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 11, 2011
Answered this question previously, just checking back to see if there were any updates from your end.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 11, 2011
There are a lot of great answers here. What have you and the board decided to do? Keep us posted. Connie W. had a good idea regarding sound proofing the ceiling... could be costly though.

Keep me posted,
Lesley Harris, Realtor
(562) 673-0943
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 28, 2010
Totally dis agree with hiring a lawyer... the lawyer is the only one who will 'win'... I too had simular issue in a condo I owned in the '80's horific neighbors and the noise only affected my unit.. You have a couple options... you could rent the unit... this noise may not effect an other persaon as it does you.. it is amazing what different volume of
noise affect different people...
You can sell... you will need to disclose and this will effect your price.. but what is your sanity worth...ths should cost less than a lawyer and actually get results in the end...
You could open up your ceiling and install sound proofing.. no idea on cost but worth looking into...

Good luck... call if I can assist...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 28, 2010
It is usually a good idea to hire a real estate attorney, but her you need to contact attorneys that know HOA law as well. One of the top offices in the state is Adams Kessler PLC. One of their offices is in Los Angeles. Phone 800-464-2817. It will definitely be worth it to have this problem resolved before selling your condo. As the other Realtors have noted, you will have to disclose all of the problems, and it will negatively impact your sales price. Invest a few dollars with an attorney and have your problem resolved.

Best of luck,
Gene Scott
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 6, 2010
As mostly every one has said, it would be best to hire a real estate attorney to get this problem resolved. Many times a well written letter on attorney letterhead will do wonders. As for selling, every piece of property is worth something. All you need to do is disclose everything you know. It will more than likely affect the value but it may be worth it to you. Any of us agents can give you an idea of your value very simply. You do have options and you do not have to feel stuck. Good luck!
Web Reference: http://longbeachbailout.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010
OH MY, I hate hearing these stories. You really should keep a papertrail of all your communications with the Board, they should be on top of this for it typically states in the CC & R's that that flooring and balcony leaks should be address. A lot of the Rules and Reg's state that the flooring needs to be with "like" materials than when it was prior or they need to have the board approval prior to installation. If the balcony leaks , I am surprised that the board and homeowners aren't jumping to fix this for this can cause constructional damage which can lead to everyone paying at the end. You may want to consult with a Real Estate Attorney. Even if you sell you would have to disclosure this to the new homeowner and that can reflect on your bottom line.
Lesley Harris, Realtor
(562) 673-0943
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 25, 2010
Hi Tclbeach

Clearly your HOA board is well aware of the problem and your rights.

Clearly, you have one or two options continue to call and document to the HOA board President or
Get yourself a good RE Attorney, clearly should you win the case they will have to pay your attorney's fees
Either after trial or after arbitration.

The challenge you have is that right now many HOAs are bandwidth limited with Owners not paying dues
And personal issue faced by the Board Members themselves.

Prudent for you to communicate you are serious by calling the HOA President and writing 2 letters for the next two weeks which of course you should copy and send by Certificate of Mailing.

Good luck
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 24, 2010
You HOA documents are designed for the peaceful enjoyment of all, and the resolution. You will need to read through your documents to get an understanding of your rights and what the neighbor and HOA is responsible for.

Then you should attend all HOA meetings and bring this issue up. They will need to report it in the minutes. If there is a violation and they do not resolve it per the HOA rules then escalate to the VP or operations. There is always a higher up person. Document everything, date, who what where when why how.... etc. Request in writing and ask for their response in writing. If you find that you hit a brick wall, then litigation is the next step.

Bare in mind that litigation can be problematic for the HOA and any seller because lenders will not fund on the complex if there is litigation.

If you do decide to sell you need to disclose the this entire issue to the next buyer. They may buy, but deduct value due to it.
Web Reference: http://www.TerriVellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 24, 2010
If you really want to stay, try speaking to an attorney. Otherwise, you will need to get a comparative market analysis to see how much your condo is worth in today's market. You will have to disclose the issues that you have had to the new buyer. Good luck. I hope it works out for you.

Sara Mehrpouyan
Rodeo Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 24, 2010

Take your CC&R's to an attorney first. You have done everything right and there is no relief from the people who are responsible for enforcement of the rules. This is how dumb lawsuits come to fruition. People dont do the right thing and suddenly everyone loses.
Web Reference: http://bob2sell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 24, 2010
Tcl, that whole situation is really a bummer, very unfair. You know what -- YOU have the right to be there, unmolested. Now you can definitely sell the place -- you may have to knock a few thousand off, but you can sell it. But why? You got those assurances from the HOA as well as from the upstairs neighbors, through their promises to fix the place.

Sue. Sue them and don't let up when they cave, which they will. Sue the HOA and the homeowners above. Talk to a lawyer, and have the lawyer figure it out. You have been patient for 3 years, and they have ruined your quality of life and caused your home to very likely depreciate in value. We could be talking punitive in addition to actual damages. They will sit up and take notice when all of them wind up taking a financial hit due to the negligence. Truth be told, after your patience, you should be walking away from this situation with a profit. You acted in good faith and they took advantage of it.

Another approach is for you to give notice of intent to sue -- have an attorney do this -- and you might be able to settle out of court. This could be done with a few letters. Basically they should fix the place up and pay you maybe $20,000 or $30,000 extra. That would be fair for this kind of nonsense.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 24, 2010
I'm sorry to hear this is happening to you-- the distress comes through clearly in your post! I agree with Loren, however, what bothers you may have no effect on someone else, so please don't feel like you must sell at a loss necessarily. It depends on when you bought it, how much you put down, current market value, etc. You will have disclose these nuisances to the buyers, but again, these sort of things may not bother them. In any case, I think it's time you moved on as you sound really unhappy with your situation. Hope this gives you some hope!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 24, 2010
All of the foregoing answers are good advise. In order to understand all the issues and answer all your questions and concerns a meeting would be beneficial to you. There might even be options to remain in your condo, if you choose.
If you would like a no obligaton consultation from a local Long Beach Realtor, to find out what your options are, feel free to contact me.

Christel Prather
MetroCal Properties
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 24, 2010
Although this noise may make you crazy. It may not even be noticed by another. When I visit my friend in New York I notice the same thing- noisy neighbors upstairs-creaky floors. When I ask my friend about it he isn't bothered by it at all. So don't count yourself out.
What 's more imprtant is the condition of your property , the current value. as well as your equity.

You'll need to have a CMA done to know if selling is a possibility or not. If you'd like a free no obligatoin CMA EMAIL me at PalmSprings4Sale@Live.com and I'll send it right off to you.
You'll be able to make a better decision about the property when you know all the facts, and who knows you may be on your way to a noise-less future.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 23, 2010
You can definitely sell. You will have to sell at a discount to attract a buyer considering the problems you are having. You may also want to consider legal options against the board and upstairs neighbor. For a realistic price analysis or a legal referral, feel free to give me a call anytime.

Richard Schulman
#1 Listing and Selling Agent
Keller Williams
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 23, 2010
Hi Tclbeach,

As long as you disclose to any potential buyer all of the problems you have described above, you would still be able to sell it, as long as it was priced competitively - that is the key. You just have to make sure that you do not try to conceal any of the problems you are having with the place. Whether or not you would take a huge loss really depends on how much you have invested in the property versus the current fair market value. But as holds generally true with all properties, if they are priced correctly they will sell.

Hope this helps - let me know if you have any questions.

John Barry
DRE #01856079
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Cell: 323-810-7976
Email: john.barry@coldwellbanker.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RealtorJB
Twitter: @RealtorJB
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 23, 2010
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