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Dear PoPville – Condo Management Question

by Prince Of Petworth April 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm 22 Comments


Photo by PoPville flickr user Nikoo’s Photos

Dear PoPville,

I live in a condo building (renovated row house) with 4 units. Each unit pays a monthly condo fee, but there are also two parking spaces behind the building that the developer chose to keep and rent out. These spaces are hard to get to because of the way our “backyard” is fenced in, and they are just gravel, so the area has become overrun with weeds. Sometimes there are random cars (and once a boat) parked there. At one time the developer almost sold the spaces to a construction company so they could put up a toolshed. We live in a neighborhood where finding parking is not an issue, so spaces are not high in demand (unless you haven’t registered your car in DC).

Per our condo documents, these two spaces owe a monthly condo fee of $25 each; however, he has not been paying it. Our condo association has made numerous attempts to collect the fees over the years, even resorting to sending letters from a lawyer, but that does not seem to faze him. We also explored other options such as forcing a sheriff’s sale so we could buy them, but we run the risk of someone else getting to them first. Two years ago we placed a “condominium lien for assessments due” on both spaces for the amount he owed at the time, which protects us if he tries to sell the spaces. Now that some time has passed, we would like to place another lien on the property but are not sure if the lien should be for the full amount (he currently owes $4500 for each space) or for the difference between the first lien and the second lien.

So our questions are: 1. What should the new lien amount be? and 2. Does anyone have a recommendation on what to do now? Can we sue him for the spaces?

Obviously the ideal situation would be that the condo association owns the spaces so we can transform them into an actual backyard, but he is asking for $10,000 per space which is outside of our budget right now.

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