I’ve blogged a lot about condo law for a reason. (See here and here.) Condo homeownership is fairly new to Oregon, and a lot of Oregon lawyers, and there is an awful lot of Feeling your Way going on for condo buyers, sellers, boards, lenders, owners, management companies, and lawyers.
An Oregonian article by Jeff Manning on Sunday, 1/6/08, “If these walls could talk, they would quarrel,” was particularly good, though it may put you off condo-ownership completely rather than simply alerting you to the pitfalls. Condo ownership may be just what you need and want, but it’s good to know the risks (so says the public law librarian who hears a lot about the risks, the aggravations, and the lawsuits).
Excerpt from the article, but do read the whole thing, especially if you’re thinking about buying a condo (and read a whole lot more on the subject too):
“Some of the nastiest disputes in condo living have more to do with personal lifestyle than siding and roofing. Boards try to implement bylaws governing owner behavior that will minimize conflicts. But some residents bridle at the rules.
Sharing walls “is a relatively new experience for a lot of Oregonians,” said Jeff Belluschi, whose management firm helps run several area condo associations. “They’re used to being lord of their castle and being able to do what they want to do. And, surprise, you can’t do that anymore.”
The conflicts are common enough to keep a growing number of lawyers working virtually full time on condo-related issues. “A lot of the problems come from the three P’s — pets, parking and people,” said Karna Gustafson, a Portland attorney who represents condo developers and associations.
Parking is a particularly vexing issue in Portland’s Pearl District, where spaces are at a premium even within condo buildings. It’s galling for a Pearl resident who has paid thousands of dollars for a parking spot to find it taken by a neighbor….”