Condo Media - April 2018 - 16

Asked & Answered

Hoarders!

When it Becomes More Than a Simple Clean-Up

We have a hoarder in our community and,
judging by the smell coming from the unit,
we suspect it may need more than some
organizing and a simple clean-up. How
should we proceed? What protocols should
we follow to gain access to the unit? And
how should we go about cleaning it up?

The short answer to your first question is: You should
proceed carefully. The more detailed response from
Mary-Joy Howes, a partner in Goodman, Shapiro &
Lombardi, LLC, explains why.
Beginning with access to the unit: The obvious first
step is to ask the owner to let you in. If he or she refuses,
Howes suggests you send a written notice indicating that
if the owner doesn't respond within a specified time, the
board will use its authority to enter the unit.
Most governing documents authorize boards to enter
a unit to deal with an emergency. If this were an emergency-a broken pipe flooding the unit, for example-
you wouldn't have to provide this notice, Howes points
out. Boards also typically have the authority, under
their governing documents, the state condominium
statute, or both, to enter a unit when necessary to deal
with conditions affecting the health, safety, or wellbeing of other residents.
"Boards have a lot of wiggle room to gain access to a
unit," Howes notes. "You just need to find a legal 'nexus'
[hook] justifying the entry." A noxious odor emanating
from a unit would certainly qualify, she says.
Boards sometimes hesitate to act in situations like
this, she adds, because they're not sure they should get
involved. "Not only can boards get involved," she says,
"when conditions in a unit affect other residents, boards
have an obligation to act."
A situation she handled for an association client
provides something of a case study in how boards should
proceed. Residents in this community reported a foul
odor coming from a unit. They also heard animal noises
that seemed to be created by many more than the one
dog or two cats the association's rules allowed. Not
knowing exactly what the board would find in the unit,

16

CONDOMEDIA

Howes contacted the local animal control agency for
assistance. Anticipating that the owner, who had not
responded to the written notice, might be uncooperative,
she requested police assistance, too.
When the owner opened the door, Howes says, the
smell "was overpowering" and the conditions horrific.
The 20-plus animals the owner was hoarding had been
using the entire unit as their bathroom. Floors were
urine-soaked, and feces were everywhere.
This brings us to your second question, how to handle
the clean-up. Howes's response: "Don't do it yourself."
When dealing with any kind of toxic or potentially toxic,
or just messy clean-up, she emphasizes, "You can't just go
in with guns blazing. You don't know what you're going
to be facing." Board members aren't trained to deal with
these situations, Howes cautions. They don't know how
to handle hazardous materials, such as mold, she notes,
and they don't know how to protect themselves and other
residents from the health risks those substances create.
Trustees who decide they can save money by tackling
a clean-up risk making a bad situation worse and a cleanup more expensive. Owners who create toxic conditions
in their units are responsible for the clean-up costs. But
if the trustees increase the damage-by accidentally
spreading mold to other units, for example-the association will incur both the added costs and the liability for
damages suffered by other residents.
That's why Howes emphasizes to "bring in experts,
who have the training and the proper equipment and
know what they're doing. You want to let the right people
do the right things," she adds. "If you try to cut corners,
you'll turn a problem into a disaster and you'll end up
tripling your costs."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Condo Media - April 2018

Contents
Condo Media - April 2018 - BB1
Condo Media - April 2018 - BB2
Condo Media - April 2018 - Cover1
Condo Media - April 2018 - Cover2
Condo Media - April 2018 - Contents
Condo Media - April 2018 - 2
Condo Media - April 2018 - 3
Condo Media - April 2018 - 4
Condo Media - April 2018 - 5
Condo Media - April 2018 - 6
Condo Media - April 2018 - 7
Condo Media - April 2018 - 8
Condo Media - April 2018 - 9
Condo Media - April 2018 - 10
Condo Media - April 2018 - 11
Condo Media - April 2018 - 12
Condo Media - April 2018 - 13
Condo Media - April 2018 - 14
Condo Media - April 2018 - 15
Condo Media - April 2018 - 16
Condo Media - April 2018 - 17
Condo Media - April 2018 - 18
Condo Media - April 2018 - 19
Condo Media - April 2018 - 20
Condo Media - April 2018 - 21
Condo Media - April 2018 - 22
Condo Media - April 2018 - 23
Condo Media - April 2018 - 24
Condo Media - April 2018 - 25
Condo Media - April 2018 - 26
Condo Media - April 2018 - 27
Condo Media - April 2018 - 28
Condo Media - April 2018 - 29
Condo Media - April 2018 - 30
Condo Media - April 2018 - 31
Condo Media - April 2018 - 32
Condo Media - April 2018 - 33
Condo Media - April 2018 - 34
Condo Media - April 2018 - 35
Condo Media - April 2018 - 36
Condo Media - April 2018 - 37
Condo Media - April 2018 - 38
Condo Media - April 2018 - 39
Condo Media - April 2018 - 40
Condo Media - April 2018 - 41
Condo Media - April 2018 - 42
Condo Media - April 2018 - 43
Condo Media - April 2018 - 44
Condo Media - April 2018 - 45
Condo Media - April 2018 - 46
Condo Media - April 2018 - 47
Condo Media - April 2018 - 48
Condo Media - April 2018 - 49
Condo Media - April 2018 - 50
Condo Media - April 2018 - 51
Condo Media - April 2018 - 52
Condo Media - April 2018 - 53
Condo Media - April 2018 - 54
Condo Media - April 2018 - 55
Condo Media - April 2018 - 56
Condo Media - April 2018 - 57
Condo Media - April 2018 - 58
Condo Media - April 2018 - 59
Condo Media - April 2018 - 60
Condo Media - April 2018 - 61
Condo Media - April 2018 - 62
Condo Media - April 2018 - 63
Condo Media - April 2018 - 64
Condo Media - April 2018 - Cover3
Condo Media - April 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201905
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201903
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201902
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201901
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201812
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201811
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201810
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201809
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201808
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201807
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201806
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201805
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201804
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201803
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201802
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201801
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201712
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201711
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201710
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201709
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201708
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201707
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201706
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201705
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201704
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201703
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201702
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201701
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201612
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201611
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201610
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201609
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201608
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201607
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201606
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201605
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201604
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201603
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201602
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201601
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201512
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201511
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201510
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201509
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201508
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201507
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201506
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201505
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201504
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201503
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201502
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201501
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201412
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201411
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201410
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201409
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201408
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201407
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201406
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201405
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201404
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201403
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201402
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201401
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201312
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201311
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201310
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201309
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201308
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201307
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201306
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201305
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201304
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201303
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201302
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201301
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201212
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201211
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201210
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201209
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201208
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201207
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201206
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201205
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201204
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201203
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201202
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201201
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201112
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201111
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201110
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201109
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201108
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201107
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201106
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201105
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201104
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201103
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201102
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201101
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201012
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201011
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201010
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201009
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201008
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201007
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201006
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201005
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200904
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201003
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201002
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_201001
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200912
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200911
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200910
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200909
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/mcneill/condomedia_200908
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com