We all have needs. Wants, too. In a co-op or condominium, the significant needs or wants of the shareholders and unit owners usually have to be routed through the board or management company.
In theory—and, by and large, in practice—this is a sound and functional system. But it’s not perfect. Next to noise complaints, the single most common grievance voiced by co-op and condo residents is that their board members and managers don’t respond quickly enough to phone calls and email messages regarding the needs and wants as related to the building or their individual unit.
This issue can certainly be avoided with enough effort on the part of the board members and managing company. But shareholders have a responsibility, as well. It’s essential that residents know what to expect from their building administrators and maintain realistic expectations of them and the process itself.
Living in a Paradox
Like Peter Parker said of his web-slinging alter-ego, “with great power comes great responsibility,”—board members know this all too well. On one hand, they get to be directly involved with the operations of their home and can lead the way toward positive change. On the other hand, they have to field everyone else’s suggestions and an unending stream of problems. And they can’t give everyone the answer they want.
“Cooperative living can be an oxymoron at times,” says Alvin Wasserman, director of Fairfield Property Services in Commack, Long Island. “Cooperation between shareholders and the board is not always evident.