Bad Actor Condo Members

grouch condo neighbor
Oscar the Grouch like character blowing on dandelion seeds

Just as neighbors within a single family neighborhood can be a challenge by maybe letting their lawns be full of dandelions or yard gnomes, an Association member can be a bad actor, and “grouchy.”  NOTE: there is a difference between bad acting members and being the victim of bad Board or Board’s actions. The grouchy type of owner might have their own flavor of bratty behavior.  In today’s post, we look at Condo bad behaviors of condo association members that can end up rubbing everyone the wrong way.

#1: Showing Up to a Board Meeting Just to Complain – At the End! Or e-mailing it in.

Let us know when you’re done, since we will not see you until next year’s meeting.

There are many different Owners you can see at Board meetings – some good, some bad.  One of the more annoying Condo Association Owner bad behaviors are those who just show up to complain – but time their arrival for the end.  Their apathy towards understanding how the Condo Association is run is such that they can’t even be bothered to sit through a single meeting.  You’ll never see them again, but they will show up, complain for a set piece, and vanish into thin air.  Surely, their motivation is to make things better and not just rant.  Not. 

Even worse is maybe the member that e-mails their questions and expectations.  30+ years ago when I worked for Darden Restaurants I learned to appreciate advance notice of meeting topics, valuing the ability to plan ahead. Surprise attacks at meetings are not the sign of a team player. Sidenote – Discern from the Owner that might be lonely, and just might want to be seen/heard. We all want to see our shadow, and find it in different ways.  

#2: Not Scheduling Things Properly

When you live in a Condo Association, you are subordinated to the Association.  There are a variety of Bylaws and rules that control how you live.  When you bought that property, you agreed to those rules.  And yes, that means inconvenience, and it can mean dealing with a difficult Board.  However, it is not a license to sloppily schedule things.  Owners who display this bad behavior are the ones who need Board approval for a property modification – they scheduled their contractor three months ago but didn’t email the Board until three days before the contractor was set to arrive, demanding immediate approval.  Sorry, that’s not how it works. The group that wants the meeting room or pool for a football fantasy draft, or family get together.  Or the ones who knew they were moving for a month and demand the private freight elevator a day before the movers show up.  Nope.  Sorry folks, you bought into the Association, you have to play by the rules.

#3:  Demanding Special Treatment When Selling Their Property

For some Owners, once they decide they are out, any pretense of following the rules is gone.  Everything is about them.  They want special accommodations, special treatment – and they want it NOW.  With this flavor of Condo Association Owner bad behaviors, the entitlement kicks in, and the politeness checks out. Yes, the Association has responsibilities, but proper planning is not just a good consideration, it can be in your best interest. Ask the Association about turning in electronic keys, removing wifi, checkout-type procedures.  Make your exit as neat and clean as you’d want it when moving in.

#4:  Owners Who Are Under Contract and Then Show Up to Talk (out of line)

This is the rare Owner who is picking fights when they’re under contract and out the door.

Even worse than the above are the Owners who are under contract – a stone’s throw from leaving the Association – and begin talking poorly.  They might come to meetings, they might post to social media – they’re out and they have no qualms about letting everyone know. Even when dealing with a bad board, this is one of the most cowardly of the Condo Association Owner bad behaviors.  If your Board was so bad, rally your friends and lead a resistance.  Don’t wait until there’s no consequence to say your piece.  Be active and good for your neighbors, and they will be good for you.

#5:  Condo owner complaints about non-board matters

Owners Who Complain About Things the Board Has No Control Over – This is a tough one, but a frustrating behavior nonetheless.  Because the Condo Association is essentially local government, it is not uncommon for the Association to become the fall person/party for Owners with an axe to grind elsewhere.  For example, Owners keenly feel the impact of things like fire regulations, towing laws, or even the impact of wage increases – and they will show up and blame the Association.  Yes, we feel your pain, but at the same time… go to the people who can actually do something.  The Board has a meeting to run for the things we ACTUALLY control and be help then and there.   

Bottom line – Bad Owner Behavior Hurts the Association

Owners are going to do what they do.  Many and most are delighted to belong and dedicated to the Association, others are neutral, but a few can just be a bad tomato.   However, a Board and Management must stay strong in the face of this behavior.  Even in the face of extremely rude and obnoxious Owners, keep your cool.  Manage the meeting, keep things moving, be a polite professional, and lead a simpler condo life.