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 City of Boston Adding Fuel to the Fire in Scared Condo Owner Situation

Strange Communication from Boston ISD

After two and a half years of living in a condo nightmare—with raw sewage overflows and other issues affecting your property, health and safety—how do you think you might like it if your City treated you as if you were invisible and unimportant?

What if you told your Mayor that you were afraid of the serious possibility of retaliation regarding your condo nightmare, and you received a BRIGHT YELLOW NOTICE on your door from Inspectional Services indicating to everyone in the building that you’ve made a complaint?

For background:

  • STATED CONDO/RAW SEWAGE PROBLEMS.  I sent letters and E-mails to Mayor Menino’s office for over a year and a half describing my condo/raw sewage nightmares.  I have also written and called several Inspectors.
  • VISITED MAYOR’S OFFICE.  My friend Ed came with me about a week or so ago to talk with someone in authority about what has been happening regarding my condo nightmare.  We spoke to one of the Mayor’s ‘Hotline’ Aides. who took note of our questions about lacking permits, and years of sewage related episodes.
  • STATED FEAR OF RETALIATION.  While at the Mayor’s office, I provided a binder full of correspondence relating to the condo problems—including statements that I have been living with the fear of retaliation from the people involved.

Instead of having someone call me me to get clarification about this ongoing, maddening situation, I get this:

A BRIGHT YELLOW NOTICE on my doorknob—for everyone in the Building to see—stating there has been a COMPLAINT to INSPECTIONAL SERVICES. 

The almost-funny thing is that, although it had my condo number, it had the name “Donna”  on it.  My name is clearly not Donna.  I have been sending correspondence to the Mayor and the Inspectors for over a year and a half.  How hard is it to get my name right after all this time?  The subliminal message I’m receiving from the City feels like:  We are clearly just going through the motions because you continue to bother us..

My recent trip to City Hall with Ed was to find out why no one has taken my situation seriously, even though it is clear that the Building Developer/Trustee did not take out proper permits the entire time he was changing an apartment building over to condominiums.  And why haven’t they taken it seriously even though I told the City many times that I was living in a dangerous situation with raw sewage episodes and overflows, among other complaints?

Why would they send out an Inspector without contacting me first?  What did the Mayor’s Aide do with my personal contact information? 

THE THREATS.

I have spent a tremendous amount of time trying to find solutions to this ongoing nightmare, which has been costly.

  • ILLNESS.  I’ve become sick more often as a result of the stressful situation, smoke and sewage. 
  • VEILED THREATS. I’ve received veiled threats from the Developer/Trustee about how I had better be careful since he knows I’m doing “detective work,” and how I “will be making ten enemies” if I go ahead with any lawsuit.
  • DEATH THREAT.  I’ve received a death threat from a neighboring rental tenant when I tried to get them to hold down all the banging and noise, after trying to deal with this mostly on my own for over two years (instead of the Trustees enforcing the condo trust rules about excessive noise and residents’ rights to ‘peaceful enjoyment’ of their homes). 
  • FIRE & SMOKE HAZZARDS.  I hired a Home Inspector in 2008 who found that there is no ‘fire stop’ between my condo and the abutting apartment.  I never knew if I was coming home to smoke or fire due to compromised  fire code standards, as well.  It just added to my nightmares about living here.
  • JOB IN JEOPARDY?  I felt my job was in jeopardy at various times, given how stress has been a continuing theme in my life for over two and a half years now. 
  • PETS IN JEOPARDY. My pets were at risk for disease or death from the repeated raw sewage episodes.  The second-hand smoke that poured through my home from an abutting apartment resulted in my beloved pet being diagnosed with nasal lymphoma.  (One source: http://www.smokefreesociety.org/NewsClip/Pets-1.html) It cost all my savings to get him the chemotherapy and treatments he needed.

So, if I lose my home, job and/or sanity, will someone pay attention then? 

When will someone help me and say “she has suffered enough”?

Consumers get treated better if we buy a defective toaster.   And yet, a home is arguably the biggest purchase a person or family makes.  What I got was a big, fat lemon of a property and of a Developer/Trustee/Seller.  Someone in authority needs to step in. 

KEEPING UP THE FIGHT FOR CONDO RIGHTS.  I’m running out of time, money and energy.  With Ed’s help, I’ll try to keep up the fight, because we think we should find a way to propose a bill that would enhance condo owners’ rights, so you or your condo-owning loved ones won’t have to fight this kind of thing alone.

Condo owners need additional rights, I’m telling you…

Blog Country

  1. March 31, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    This is a terrible situation. I feel awful for these people.

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