Magazine article Journal of Property Management

The X Residents

Magazine article Journal of Property Management

The X Residents

Article excerpt

One of my favorite business/pleasure activities is writing a regular question and answer column for the Las Vegas Review-Journal/Las Vegas Sun. About six months ago, however, I received a letter that left me uneasy. When I investigated further, the problems involved were of a different universe than those commonly found in condominium disputes.

My correspondent-Mrs. R Sterling-wrote:

"About six months ago, my husband and I purchased a home in an outstanding condominium association in Southern New Mexico-just north of Roswell. We had investigated several associations because we wanted to ensure that we had a community where the board of directors worked cooperatively with homeowners, rather than treating them like strangers from another planet.

We thought we had made the right decision when we moved into "The Project" as the residents called the property, but we soon learned our mistake. When our moving van arrived at 4 p.m., we were greeted by a welcoming committee of board members. "How nice," we thought.

But when we started to unload, an army of neighbors came to assist us and started hauling our furniture in as fast as they could walk. "The governing documents require that all move-ins must be completed by 6 p.m.," explained a board member, "plus, you really don't want to be out here after dark." The van was unloaded and off the property with only five minutes to spare.

We shrugged off this episode, but it was not the last. My husband plays basketball and often uses a portable hoop to play in the driveway. When he returned from answering the phone, the hoop had mysteriously vanished.

It just kept getting stranger. Our next door neighbors, who had installed a really unusual mailbox shaped like the Titanic, were suddenly transferred out of state. At least that's what the board president said; we never saw them leave.

Nor did it seem that the condo board welcomed creativity. The last straw was when the pink flamingos that I thought brightened up the front yard so much were repainted to look like American Eagles.

I realize that some rules are necessary to maintain order, and we really don't want to move because we love the community. Can you help?

PS. I called the couple who sold us the house to see if they had had similar problems and was told that they had never lived here. …

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