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Fire doors don't work, president is threatening me! What should I do?


This question is submitted by R. M. out of Hartford, CT. 

'm concerned about fire code violations that the association will not remedy. This has gone on a long time for various violations, some were remedied. The fire marshal had been at the complex recently, not sure if it was an inspection or what. But the board president had told everyone that everything they had been told to remedy were only suggestions and not requirements. (However, I know they had abatement orders and also did not appeal. About a month after the fire marshal was here, the board president gave a work order to reset all fire doors to close quietly. They now do not close and latch, and these are fire doors that are my egress. Our building has a lot of problems that could start a fire. I sent a video example of the fire door(s) not closing, tracked dates, etc., to the property manager. The PM wants TIME to convince the board president to have the hydraulics replaced;however, this president never spends on anything like that, and he doesn't think all the doors that are supposed to self-close and latch (and don't) aren't a problem (unit doors, stairwell doors), even the back doors, but that is a building code issue they are hinge bound. I had called the town a couple years ago, and the board president told me I have a legal right to call the town but he will make my life miserable. He said at an informal session of the owners that they were going to do something to me and I wouldn't like it (he said the police were there that day, and I guess he assumed it was me who called, but it wasn't). They drummed up false "violation of a rule" that they said was a running fine, and I had to hire an attorney, then they had to admit they had nothing on me, and couldn't even tell me what I did. So I'm very concerned about the violations in my egress, but also afraid of the retaliation if I contact the fire marshal. The complex still has other outstanding violations, that I don't know the status with the fire marshal. You can't be anonymous, in that they take your name, address, etc., and will tell the complex enough identifying info they know it is you, and also b/c I have been trying very hard to get them to remedy them. The board president said he was going to send me the bill for anything they have to remedy, and his lost work time to respond to the fire marshal (but I did not cause the building problems). He then found out he can't bill me, but told everyone they are going to get an assessment (because of me);however, I am aware there were several inspections with items outstanding, they had hired an additional inspector who must have reviewed all past inspections and also did a new one. The board president isn't afraid to tell a bunch of lies, and so I'm guessing he said things like this to the condo attorney, he may try to use fines, etc. to get me. But I haven't done anything wrong, but I"m a senior on a limited income and can't afford a fight, but I'm worried about being trapped on a top floor with a blocked egress. Also, the alarm system had been down, a vendor came out, but the control panel in the basement is still saying "trouble," after a few weeks. I notified the property manager a while back, and it looks like they may leave it that way. What to do? I cannot move, b/c the roof leaks are very bad and until they fix the roof I cannot fix my unit, and don't want to try to sell it like this. You cannot have a lasting repair until they remedy the roof, so I feel stuck, but want to feel safe.


Answers (9)

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