Homeowners association Karen

Hi folks.

My partner and I rent a nice condo in a small building. Maybe 16 to 20 places.

The president of the homeowners association (we shall call her Karen) has been a little annoying but otherwise pleasant for the last two years. She lives across from us on the same floor.

However recently there’s been a bunch of signs in the lift saying that delivery and uber eats drivers shouldn’t be let into the building. (We always order delivery and never go down)

Additionally. I saw her last week while I was wheeling my bicycle into the lift to go up to my place. Of course the the next day the sign had been updated to say that bikes weren’t allowed in the lift and needed to be left in the parking garage.

Just now. We ordered an uber eats. After the guy left it at our door (no contact delivery ftw). We hear a knock at the door. Which we ignore. I then get the text below.

“Rugby, please go down to the foyer to collect your meal. This is meant to be a secure building. We don’t want delivery people in the building. Thanks.”

Now I know it’s petty. But I have no intention of changing how we take deliveries or what I do with my bike. What’s the best play to maintain neighbourly harmony?

I checked my contract with the landlord. there were a number of homeowners rules and regs in there, but nothing that seems relevant.

Additional info. My partner has social anxiety and it would stress her the fuck out if Karen harranged her in the hallways over this.

Cliffs.

  • homeowners Karen trying to make up a bunch of dumb rules for the condo
  • I don’t want to follow them
  • how do i avoid unnecessary drama?
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Until I got to the additional info bit, I would have 100% said that in your situation, I would have either completely ignored the lady or texted her back and said you will continue to have your meals delivered, put your bike in the lift etc.

The bit about the social anxiety changes things imo. I don’t think you can ignore the lady as she may well confront your partner. So, it’s either you contact and tell her (perhaps nicely) that you’ll be continuing to get your meals delivered or you give in. I don’t like the giving in bit, because she might well keep going with her demands (e.g. bike etc). Do other people in the building get meals delivered?

Personally, I think I’d be texting her back and telling her nicely that I’d be continuing to get meals delivered.

Edit: I’m usually all for giving-in the first time a neighbour has some semi-stupid but basically inconsequential request, but if there’s going to be a pattern of it then it’s good to nip it in the bud. I had an issue with difficult neighbours a few years back. The best harmony occurred when we both effectively decided to ignore each other.

As far as i can tell. Theres a few older people who live in the building, and presumably own
Then there’s a bunch of younger professionals who seems to move in and out and are probably renting like us. I assume we aren’t the only people who get the deliveries to the door, I’ve definitely seen a few others.

Yeah. I’m on the fence between ignoring it and a polite but firm text back. A small part of me wants to tell her to fuck off and mind her own business, but that play is definitely a losing one.

It seems likely that you will get into drama if you don’t comply, but you will know that far better than us. You should also be able to judge how Karen will respond to either being ignored or being told about your future non compliance.

Personally I’d probably go down for delivery as who cares, and either leave my bike in the secure outside place (if it exists), or tell the association that until such a place exists I’ll continue to take my bike to my flat.

(I don’t enjoy confrontation and generally try and modify my behaviour to avoid it as it’s just a net negative and other people are unreliable, but I wouldn’t go so far to say I have social anxiety about it.)

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I would always be for taking back initiative in this confrontation. Ask her: are these signs meant for me? Why are you not communicating directly with me? What is the problem? And let her know whether you will comply or not, and why. Be as diplomatic and understanding as you need to be, without giving in. And tell her to always direct complaints directly to you, and never to your partner.

The President of a condo board isn’t a dictator. If there’s a dispute about rules they can be raised at the annual meeting. She can call an earlier meeting if its bugging her that much.

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Yeah. If there’s an actual rule, then I don’t have a major issue with it. They are the homeowners not me. I’m not sure “show my the rule Karen” is going to be constructive tho.

+1 for going down for food deliveries. Sorry, but several flats getting food delivered to their door makes for a really bad smelling lift that I wouldn’t want to suffer, especially with a hangover, when the smell of vomit wouldn’t combine too harmoniously with the stale food smell.

It will be annoying to be thought to be complying with Karen, though.

Seems like standard HOA drama. Always a risk anytime you live somewhere with a HOA.

Without seeing the CC&R documents, I wouldn’t know if she is within her right to make these rules. It’s possible that she is.

I would start by talking to other residents, especially those you know to be owners and not renters.

Surely the lift is going to smell the same way whether it’s Rugby going down to collect it or the delivery guy coming up with it?

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Would the ban on delivery people apply to couriers and package delivery services as well? What about furniture? I’d ask Karen how “delivery people” are different than people in general and why wouldn’t all visitors be banned? Is there something unique about “delivery people”? Seems like such a ban would have to have been in your agreement up front and not added without consent.

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In situations like this the best course of action is to get her ousted as president and even the board.

You can try and find a proxy to do it and support them in a battle versus the man. OR you can do it yourself. That being said this things have more drama than high school.

I would probably first feel out people in the building to get an idea of if she represents more than herself or if she is alone.

Hard to know what she could do to enforce these silly TRUMP EOs, but without seeing the relevant documents I don’t know:

You could also just ignore her and see what she does. Slight risk there because if she does have some authority you might get your hand slapped with a ruler.

Her following around you with a sign kit is not cool. I would get a copy of the by laws and see if she even has the authority to do any of this or if it had to be approved at a board meeting by the board. That might be a way in. Rail against her having autonomous authority to do whatever she wants whenever she wants. Seems unlikely she has that power and any non Smithers board member might want to rein her in.

If making these kinds of rules requires a hearing and a board meeting I would absolutely push for that. If you are not up for all that, would not blame you, then it seems ignore her is the best course of action. Personally though I would read over the by laws and determine if she can do any of the stuff she is doing the way she is doing it.

Edit: that you are a renter changes things a good deal. I don’t know what your lease says or what rental laws say about building “rules”.

This is what I was trying to get to. This basically blows her off without just ignoring her completely. It is just very unlikely the by laws give her the authority she desires.

Does someone renting from the owner of a unit have standing to pursue this course?

Use the stairs. If there are only 15-20 apartments there can’t be many floors. I used to have to do this in my previous block when the lift broke down, which it did frequently.

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I’ve been president of my HOA for 8 years.

While the law varies by region there are typically rules as to how rules can be set. Overnight new rules sounds like she is just playing dictator. New rules typically have to be voted by the whole board. Ask to see minutes of the meetings if they are not already posted on a public forum. Where I am they are always posted.

As a renter you have limited power here as you typically can’t go to meetings or join the board. The owner of your unit would have to do so.

I have experience of renting apartments and owning too, and renters tend to have much less regard for the upkeep of the building.

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Okay.

I’m leaning towards

“Hi Karen. Sorry. Just saw this message. Of course happy to follow all the official rules of the building. Just point me to where those are recorded. Cheers. Rugby”

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Drop the “sorry” and go with the rest of the message.

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I would add

“PS: yes, Rugby is my real name”

Also take out the sorry and just saw this message, so just “Hi Karen, we will of course be happy to follow the official rules of this glorious building (all praise Duterte!) - just point me towards where those are recorded. Cheers, Rugby.”

Maybe minus the Duterte bit.

Are the rules really not available to you though?

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