Maintaining Communication with Residents Strong Ties

When Bob Madison, a unit owner on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, tried to contact a board member to talk to them about an ongoing problem he had in the building, he was told "board members don't give out their e-mail addresses." He was told the same thing when he asked about their phone numbers. He was forced to contact the building manager for board matters, and then wait for a response.

As an 18-year resident of a more intimate 10-story building with only thirty apartments, Madison was stumped. Communicating with a board for this smaller property should be easier than this, he thought. Unfortunately, the board's lack of communication with the residents had led to some acrimony in the building, which is definitely not a positive way for a board of directors to work with the residents.

Laura Baddish, a Passaic County, New Jersey resident knows that when she has a problem in her building she should contact the management company. When a particular repair and billing issue of hers was not resolved, she took her complaint to a higher authority—her board of directors. Unfortunately, she didn't get the response she had hoped for there either.

"My stack of papers on this is about two inches high," says Baddish. "The board was so unresponsive; the management company would print out computer generated invoice after invoice with no explanations. Additionally, they would hold checks forcing late charges to occur. I have since resorted to sending checks return receipt."

These are just two examples of poor communication between the board and its residents. Unfortunately, when the lines of communication break down at any point, problems and animosity are the almost unavoidable result.

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