Q: Our condominium association rents space on our roof for a large cellphone antenna. We thought it would be great for getting some extra money into the community, but we did not count on workers banging through the stairwell at all hours carrying heavy equipment and leaving behind a mess. What can we do? - Jane
A: Everyone, from individuals to association board members, needs to carefully review and understand the ramifications of all contractual relationships before signing on the dotted line. This applies from simple, one-off repair contracts to long-term billboard or phone tower leases. While some agreements are relatively simple to understand, others are very complicated and carry long-term ramifications.
Community associations should always get professional advice before entering into any contract, but especially long-term, or expensive, ones. Since you are already in this relationship, the agreement should now be carefully reviewed to understand your rights and responsibilities.
Your contract will most likely require the telecom company to act professionally, fix anything they break, and clean up their mess. Dealing with large companies can be difficult, as can holding the individual workers accountable. It can be even more complicated if the workers are from a vendor, rather than the antenna's owner.
Whether it is getting to the right department or getting a resolution to your concern, it can be a time-consuming challenge. Make sure to write down every step you take, noting who you speak to, what was promised and the result. Do not give up. The polite, squeaky wheel gets the oil.
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When you do talk to the correct person, get specific promises with deadlines. If the company does not follow through, keep climbing the chain of command until you get to someone who can actually solve the issue.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Gary M. Singer is a Florida attorney and board-certified as an expert in real estate law by the Florida Bar. He practices real estate, business litigation and contract law from his office in Sunrise, Fla. He is the chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults on general real estate matters and trends in Florida with various companies across the nation. Send him questions online at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.
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