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My condo management company is demanding access to my storage locker. What are my rights?

Bellevue, WA |

My condo management company is demanding access to my storage locker, citing some internet cable maintenance work they are doing for the building. My locked is floor-to-ceiling full of crap, and I do not have time to move it. Furthermore, I won't be here on the day they need access. Lastly, they will not provide a temporary locker for me to store my things. They also say one of the management folks will watch over the work, but last time, no one came and contractors were free to take anything that was near. I believe they are requesting access beyond reasonable; should schedule this work far in advance and reimburse me for trouble of moving all the storage contents + provide me with a temp storage solution. What are my rights and possible actions?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

I agree with the previous answer and get the documents out and see what your rights really are. You should not be put out or at risk without some consideration. In similar situations we have put the costs at a college kid or two for a day and a security guard to watch over unsecured property and a bond to cover possible damages. Then the group demanding access found another way around the access, by pulling wires through the wall at a lower cost.
Good Luck

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Posted

I'd start by looking at your condo docs that you received when you purchased the condo. I suspect there is a clause is there allowing the management company reasonable access for maintenance purposes. What constitutes reasonable may be outlined in your condo docs, but if not, then it's up to you and the company to negotiate fair terms. I would think sufficient notice would be reasonable, but I don't think they'd view reimbursement for a temp. off-site storage facility or time spent making the space available as reasonable.

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3 comments

Asker

Posted

My condo management company doesn't view as even being polite, as reasonable, so I am assume you're correct. That said, what happens when they don't want to provide a reasonable solution. If they break my lock and damage my things, to gain access, can I sue them for trespassing?

Asker

Posted

g, sorry for all the typos. had parallel thoughts going on.

Steven Andrew Krieger

Steven Andrew Krieger

Posted

If they damage your things, assuming there isn't anything in your condo docs that would prevent suit (and there may be) and you didn't force them into a situation where they had to move your stuff (if you don't move it yourself), you could sue to recover. The question will be how much time/effort do you want to spend to recover the damages. If they do $50 of damage are you going to spend $500 to sue? In my experience, if you're reasonable, they'll be reasonable in return.

Posted

One thing that may make a difference, too, is whether the storage locker is considered "part of your unit" or a limited common element assigned to your unit. If the former, the association should be handling this in a manner similar to when they need access to your actual unit. The Declaration for your condo would be where you'd figure this out.

Bottom line, though, is that if they need access and provide reasonable notice and you refuse to do it voluntarily, they probably do have the right to break in, move your stuff, do the work, and then assess your unit for all costs involved in dealing with your "non compliance." So don't let this issue go without getting some kind of agreement in place (or just do what they are asking) or you risk those costs being added to your inconvenience.

Avvo answers are intended to provide general information only; not legal advice.

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