More Joys of Condo Living

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 07, 2012 12:05 PM GMT
    Not a gay topic, but not sure what other forum fits better. I periodically write about life in the condominiums (condos) here in Florida, as cautionary tales for any other RJ members contemplating such a move.

    This morning at 4 AM we're awakened by a knock on our door. My husband says ignore it, probably somebody wanting to complain about a loud party or something. He's the condo association President now, and people want to come to him directly with problems & complaints that are supposed to be directed to the management company's 24-hour line. And besides, we're both stark naked in bed, don't wanna have to get all dressed to answer the door.

    (And yes, southbeach1500, I expect to head the Hurricane Committee this year. Those of us who live in south Florida also live with the risk of hurricanes, which presents additional special challenges to prepare condos farther in advance of a storm than private homeowners usually need to do)

    But I feel something more serious could be happening, so I look out our bedroom window and see flashing red lights reflecting off some of the parked cars. I decide to dress when there's another louder knock. Pulling up my boxers I go to the door and peek out the security peephole and see some kind of uniform, and when I open the door it's the fire department.

    They think there's a fire on the floor above us, though the building alarm hasn't sounded. The apartment they think is the source won't answer, and they were told by other residents that my husband can access the key box that contains duplicate keys for the units. By now he's got some clothes on and takes the fire people to the on-site office, while I stay behind to finish dressing.

    They get the key, but find out it doesn't work. The owner has evidently changed the lock recently and failed to provide a new duplicate key. So the firefighters take their axes to the metal door, making a horrendous noise in the hallway. But inside they find no fire.

    I'm surprised that no one has knocked on the other doors at this point, so I start to do that on my own, although all the racket has woken some people up. Four doors down from the axed one a guy opens up, and we ask him if he's burnt anything. "Oh, yeah, I burnt my eggs," he says. The firefighters enter and confirm that's the source of the burning smell, that a newspaper delivery person had noticed 30 minutes earlier and reported to 911.

    The fire dept. puts exhaust fans in the hallway while they clean up, although the axed door is ruined and we've gotta have management arrange a temporary repair today. I go around the building to explain the situation to residents gathered in the hallways and also outside, and assure them all is safe now. The 3 firetrucks and 2 police cruisers leave and my husband and I get back to our place around 5, but obviously I'm too awake to go back to sleep.

    Condo and apartment living lets you avoid things like grounds maintenance and other homeowner chores. But it also means your risk from fire and the mistakes of others is multiplied by the number of residents sharing the building with you. We're a little old to buy a house now, so I guess we're stuck here, but for others I would recommend you think twice about ever getting a condo.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Feb 07, 2012 1:50 PM GMT
    So the lesson learned is: watch what you cook.
  • Neurons

    Posts: 537

    Feb 07, 2012 2:02 PM GMT
    This is why you also provide a duplicate key! Glad no actual fire was started.
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    Feb 07, 2012 2:42 PM GMT
    commoncoll saidSo the lesson learned is: watch what you cook.

    The story he gave was that he was boiling eggs, went into his bedroom with the door closed, and the water boiled out of the pot. The eggs exploded and became charred. It wasn't enough to set off the smoke detector and the building fire alarm.

    But a newspaper delivery person in the hall smelled it and couldn't figure out the source. So he phoned 911, and soon we had 5 vehicles here. In a way it's kinda comforting to know a real fire would get such a fast and complete response. The firefighters were very professional, and we thanked them for their quick arrival. They even climbed out onto the roof where we have A/C units to look for the source, though I think they should have banged on all the hall doors at the beginning, as I eventually did myself and found the culprit.
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    Feb 07, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    TheKrisPandemic saidThis is why you also provide a duplicate key! Glad no actual fire was started.

    Yep, but each condo is individually owned, and each owner provides their own individual door locks, as many as they choose of whatever style they prefer. We could go to a master key system, like a hotel, but that's considered less secure, and the owners have rejected it.

    Instead they're all required to provide a duplicate set of keys, stored in a double-locked box in our locked on-site office. Only condo board members like my husband may have access. But with hundreds of keys, no one has ever verified that they're all current, and in this case the key wasn't.

    The owner will be responsible for his own door repair costs, since he failed to provide a valid key. And the decision to smash his door open was an emergency one made by the fire department officially, not by the condo association. He may want to file a private claim against the person who had the burnt items in the kitchen that resulted in the 911 call.
  • kolkii

    Posts: 147

    Feb 07, 2012 3:36 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    TheKrisPandemic saidThis is why you also provide a duplicate key! Glad no actual fire was started.

    We could go to a master key system, like a hotel, but that's considered less secure, and the owners have rejected it.


    Don't understand, most condo buildings (and co-op) here in NYC have a duplicate master key for each unit.

    For security, the doormen give the key out ONLY to the owners, unless specified in the guest book.

    If no doormen, super usually handles. It's more for convenience if you lose your key or something.

    Good to hear all were safe.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 07, 2012 3:51 PM GMT
    Arent there smoke detectors inside in each unit? If so that should have gone off right away.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Feb 07, 2012 5:04 PM GMT
    I lived in a 55+ community in Delray Beach in Palm Beach county right after I graduated from FAU a few years back. .... A condo community that was completely re-done after Hurricane Wilma...It's a condo community so there are lots of "side by side" connected living.

    Initially, it was not a 55 community, however after the first year living there the HOA voted and passed an ordinance making the community a 55+ ...so I was "grandfathered" in.....

    anyway, as I'm leaving for work one day, driving out of the community, right after I pass the front gate...I notice like 3 or 4 news vans there...with news reporters all standing there, reporting on a news story...

    Apparently, one of the older members of the community had parked his car in his garage and left it running all night..... well, he not only killed himself and his wife, but he killed the people living on both sides of him. . all older married couples.... so a total of 6 people died because of his "mistake"....of leaving the car running in his garage for 10 hours...carbon monoxide poisoning icon_rolleyes.gif


    condo living for you. .....in florida. icon_neutral.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 07, 2012 5:55 PM GMT
    Import saidI lived in a 55+ community in Delray Beach in Palm Beach county right after I graduated from FAU a few years back. .... A condo community that was completely re-done after Hurricane Wilma...It's a condo community so there are lots of "side by side" connected living.

    Initially, it was not a 55 community, however after the first year living there the HOA voted and passed an ordinance making the community a 55+ ...so I was "grandfathered" in.....

    anyway, as I'm leaving for work one day, driving out of the community, right after I pass the front gate...I notice like 3 or 4 news vans there...with news reporters all standing there, reporting on a news story...

    Apparently, one of the older members of the community had parked his car in his garage and left it running all night..... well, he not only killed himself and his wife, but he killed the people living on both sides of him. . all older married couples.... so a total of 6 people died because of his "mistake"....of leaving the car running in his garage for 10 hours...carbon monoxide poisoning icon_rolleyes.gif


    condo living for you. .....in florida. icon_neutral.gif


    Fuck I'm never buying a condo after reading this.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Feb 07, 2012 6:06 PM GMT
    Import said

    Apparently, one of the older members of the community had parked his car in his garage and left it running all night..... well, he not only killed himself and his wife, but he killed the people living on both sides of him. . all older married couples.... so a total of 6 people died because of his "mistake"....of leaving the car running in his garage for 10 hours...carbon monoxide poisoning icon_rolleyes.gif

    Unless all of the people were sleeping in the closed garage, I don't believe this. Are garages not walled off from living ares? Is there no system of air filtration as is usually the case with air conditioning?
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Feb 07, 2012 8:20 PM GMT
    Quite often, buying a condo is the only affordable way for a person to own a home.
    And, I highly recommend it.
    Of course, there can be (and will be) problems that come up, from time to time.
    Hiring a good condo management company is worth every penny.

    BTW, there is no way in hell I would provide the HOA with a key to my condo.

    And, since the fire department was there, I would have gone back to my condo, and let them handle it.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Feb 08, 2012 2:29 AM GMT
    commoncoll said
    Import said

    Apparently, one of the older members of the community had parked his car in his garage and left it running all night..... well, he not only killed himself and his wife, but he killed the people living on both sides of him. . all older married couples.... so a total of 6 people died because of his "mistake"....of leaving the car running in his garage for 10 hours...carbon monoxide poisoning icon_rolleyes.gif

    Unless all of the people were sleeping in the closed garage, I don't believe this. Are garages not walled off from living ares? Is there no system of air filtration as is usually the case with air conditioning?


    dont believe it, fuck face.

    I dont care. Like im just gonna make that story up to make myself look important? icon_rolleyes.gif

    look it up.
    heres the link

    u can eat ur words now, dick head
    http://www.wpbf.com/news/12501163/detail.html
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 08, 2012 3:37 AM GMT
    Having seen how shitty "some" condo's have been stapled and glued together I'd believe just about anything. Same with some new house construction.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 08, 2012 4:26 AM GMT
    I prefer condos more than anything.
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    Feb 08, 2012 4:53 AM GMT
    Oh gosh it reminds me of the time my mother smashed into the solarium doors.....

    The fams and I spent the night at our grandparents place and around 3am the alarm sounded. I usually ignore this because most often than not, its a false one. Since I was sleeping in the solarium I kept the clear sliding doors closed to muffle out any sounds that came from the living room.

    Now my mother got up in a bit of a panic and since it was dark, she failed to notice the doors were closed and slammed right into it.
    I must admit that I've done that and its amazing that that door hasn't shattered yet icon_eek.gif


    Anyhow she scolded but I merely stuck my tongue out and said, look before you come running like a frantic chicken! lol
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 08, 2012 5:29 AM GMT
    5116916182_2af2373afc.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 08, 2012 6:32 PM GMT
    He should declare himself junior Vice president of the condo board


    Marge Simpson: What exactly is it your company does again?
    Homer Simpson: This industry moves so fast it's really hard to tell. That's why I need a name that's cutting-edge, like CutCo, EdgeCom, Interslice. Come on, Marge, you're good at these! Help me out!
    Marge Simpson: How about... Compuglobalhypermeganet?
    Homer Simpson: Fine, it's not important. What really matters is my title. I think I'll make myself... vice president. No, wait! Junior vice president!