Open Letter to Prospective Buyers

L I V E  D R A F T as of 7/7/20

 

From Mr. Chris Matthews, Atty. Brian Palmucci
“…please consider this email to be a friendly request to take the website down today. If it’s not down by 5pm today, Monday, February 4, 2019 you will both be sent a formal cease and desist notice from the association attorney with a timeline for legal action.
A year and a half later, the response is still:
“this site  will come down after the next legal, by-the-book elections, and will stay down as long as the property is managed in a legal and by-the-book manner”.

.


This page is offered as a guide for anyone seeking to acquire a unit at the Boathouse Condominiums in Hull, Mass. It’s a nice place and may be worth the effort but be wary.

Because buying into an old, self-managed condo property of 23 modest units in Massachusetts is a very, very risky business. And that’s because the laws that protect condo owners from renegade boards/trustees can be too easily breached, leaving the owners and their homes vulnerable to the whims of some seriously flawed people. It’s been that way for over 30 years and it’s hurt. There’s help on the way (HB669), but it takes time.

And because I wish to sell a choice 1BR ped with a clear conscience and fair return. Too bad the unit, like every unit here, comes with some notable baggage which should be disclosed. 

  1. The three buildings are actually much older than shown on the deed, at least one is over 100. Buildings of this age call for extra scrutiny obviously, with maintenance, both past and future, being paramount.

    These buildings have had a tough life to say the least especially after they were re-developed into condo units in the 80s. Parts of them have been long neglected and those chickens are about to come home. So  sooner or later every owner, including brand new ones will be getting assessed for more than a few pending projects.

    Only the ~board knows for sure so they should be able to provide details of any assessments expected in the foreseeable future. Otherwise it’s like handing over a blank check.

  2. The oldest building took a major hit during a storm in March 2018. It was damaged, condemned and evacuated but recovered in a few days. The repairs are still pending, but the extent of the damage and the costs to repair are still a closely guarded secret.

  3. The ~board was put on notice by the Board of Health that the moldy and wet conditions of part of the same building are creating an unhealthy environment and must be addressed.  There could be some substantial assessment surprises hidden here also. 
  4. This property doesn’t have real meetings, elections. Although the Law mandates a Jeffersonian democracy, what we have is a lawyered-up clique pulling all the strings. Any buyer who rejects living under such a system shouldn’t waste time, although the system is changing.
  5. Because of the above and incredibly, the clique has ~never been audited. The association finances are the private domain of the clique. Buying in here with NO reliable knowledge of its finances would be foolish, and a buyer could be buying debt along with the assessments. The board is required to show owners ~anything they want to see, so the seller should be able to give buyers whatever information they need to make an educated decision.
  6.  
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Here’s a small piece of an article from The Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog. Massachuse

  Dealing With Dysfunctional Massachusetts Condominium Trustees & Homeowner Associations

by RICH VETSTEIN on MAY 10, 2011

 

images-12I’ve been getting a fair amount of calls these days regarding what I like to term dysfunctional condominium management. Usually these are smaller, self-managed condominiums, converted multi-family homes, etc. Sometimes, however, the problem of dysfunctional condominium management can plague larger condominiums.

As I often tell clients, condominiums often bring out the worst in people. Professionalism and respect get thrown out the door, and childish behavior rules.

The problems can range from poor to no financial management, unpaid monthly condominium fees, problems with the transition from the original developer to the association of unit owners, power hungry condo trustees, special assessments, and disputes over costly repairs and capital improvements. Here’s some advice for would-be condominium buyers and condo unit owners to prevent and deal with dysfunctional condominium management problems.

Dealing With A Dysfunctional Condominium Board of Trustees or Association

A. Financial Mismanagement

A condominium is supposed to run like a democracy with trustees being elected by the majority of unit owners, and subject to being voted out of office when they do a poor job. The procedures for elections and removal should be set forth in the condominium declaration of trust/by-laws. In the case … 

Continued on the blog


The boards address is board@boathousehull.com. Phone calls specifically not recommended.

I’d be ecstatic if anyone wants to publicly challenge anything on this site. I’m documented to the teeth and have truth on my side, so come on.

My address is boathouse.without.bosses@gmail.com

 

Please stay tuned…

 

Massachusetts Real Estate Law Blog

10 thoughts on “Open Letter to Prospective Buyers

  1. Codominium owners should be intimated about all the laws and procedures, before they buy the spefic property, queries like how this property will be managed, repairs, disputes etc. will be addressed, so that they know what they are getting into.

    Like

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