Q&A: Trying to Getting Something Done

Q I have been frustrated by my condo board's inaction on my requests. They requested an engineer’s report on my renovation, and I have submitted it to them as well as their engineer for review...but can't get them to sign off on it. I am wasting precious construction time and dollars. What can I do?

—Flailing in Frustration

A “Most sets of governing documents,” says attorney Scott Piekarsky of the Wyckoff-based law firm of Piekarsky & Associates, LLC., “provide that if the board does not act within a certain time frame, then silence is deemed an approval and the work can be done. I would check your documents for such a provision. Without such a provision, and with, documenting the persistent requests via regular and certified mail, etc. is essential. I would certainly proceed with application to your town for the proper permits, approvals, etc. I would also make sure that all requirements in the governing documents and rules and regulations are complied with. While making application to the court to compel a decision is aggressive and costly, you do not want to get the work done and then risk a removal, re-do, etc., which can happen. Hence, persistence, documentation, town approval, etc. is essential. Giving a “one last chance” that you are “deeming their silence as approval and will proceed otherwise” is also a good measure. Finally, a short and professional letter from an attorney to the board may ultimately get their needed attention.”

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