Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Why I Can't Win

My upstairs neighbor is a royal douche canoe.  He is on the short list of people I wish very bad things upon.  Anyone who's spent more than 30 seconds in my condo has heard his thunder toes moving around above them, wondering if he's actually stomping hard enough to come through the ceiling.  He is also the most irrational, unreasonable man I have ever met.  And the epitome of passive aggressive.  I avoid contact with him at all costs - if I had to choose between swimming through a sea of rattlesnakes and attempting to have a lucid conversation with him, the choice to be eaten alive by angry reptiles would be an easy one.  It took me a while to accept that I didn't need to have the last word and that engaging him would only result in me needing to punch something really hard, and repeatedly.  So today, as triggered by a round of nonsense with Elephant Man, I bring you... his emails.  These gems should not be lost in the depths of my inbox, but instead shared with the entire internet.  May they bring you a little bit of peace that you are not the only one dealing with complete morons.

Note: these are only emails from my neighbor - none of the context or replies are tucked in here.  Trust me, these are just as entertaining (and ridiculous) on their own.

Another note:  my personal favorite is when he calls me a bully.


Also, did you know August was one of your months for maintenance? It was
in the meeting minutes. One of the owners asked me why it hadn't been done
yesterday. It looks pretty bad.

(followed by)

Jen: There is a bit more weeding to do to meet the monthly standard - I
looked at it in the dark. Anyway, talk to Mac and see if he's cool with
picking it up where it's at.


Thanks for passing this on Rani. I'll follow up with Tom to get a
schedule, hours and discuss maintenance requirements, i.e. not leaving
roofing nails on our asphalt. I think it's fine to be cooperative, but
they can also park on the street. There may also be insurance related
issues we need to consider.


Last night, Wed 11/14, I came home at around 11 PM and there was a dark
teal green Mazda 626 (license plate 014 TBL) in my parking stall #3. The
hood/engine was cold so it had been there awhile. Lights were only on in
one unit, and I regrettably knocked on the door but had no response.
Frustrated with the situation, I called a tow truck. The two truck showed
up quickly, but I decided to give the person a break and any of you if it
were your vehicle of that of a guest and parked my car on the street
instead of having it towed. However, be advised, if I find a vehicle in my
stall again, I will have it impounded. After a long day, the last thing
anyone wants to do is deal with this hassle and confront other Owners. And
when this happens, imagine then parking in another stall, and while doing
so, you inconvenience another Owner who comes home while you're there, and
so on. This is the second time I have had a vehicle in my stall in the
evening. On the first occasion, it was another Owner. I had to knock on
doors. Without prior arrangement, this is unacceptable.

In the daytime hours, I can see maybe a little wiggle room - but I mean a
little; for example, if someone is moving in/out. Still, they should try
to make arrangements with the owner of the stall, i.e. the pending 'good
neighbor' contractor parking next door for his re-roofing job. Next, if
the vehicle is unattended, a note should be posted with unit, name and
phone number. Last, the duration should be less than a few minutes as to
drop something off. If friends are coming over, they need to park down the
alley on 6th or 8th and walk up. That's the deal we got when we bought our
places. Owners have different schedules, and a person who works an
alternative schedule shouldn't be incovenienced during the day any more so
than someone who works a traditional schedule.

To keep things easy and avoid disputes, I'm forwarding a new contract to
the board of directors for approval for Jim's Northgate Towing. I am
proposing that all Owners have authorization for towing. Signage will be
posted on the west and east fences, and two on the overhang posts.

If the vehicle in question was your vehicle or that of a guest, you can
send me half the $230 I saved you.


Jen, Bo and I wanted to update on our neighbor Tom's request for parking.
As you can read in his 11/15 email below, he is no longer interested
citing our terms. The door was left open, but he hasn't reconsidered.
Given his negative disposition, this is probably for the best. Therefore,
we will not be granting Tom or his contractors the use of our property for
his re-roofing project. Although our requirements were a bit tight, they
were reasonable and could have been accommodated with a simple mutual site

walk prior to construction to document existing conditions (list/photos),
daily inspections, and abiding by our requirements, including the
implementation of proper measures to protect our property, i.e. plywood
sheets to protect vinyl siding, paving, etc. Tom persisted in wanting to
do the work during Thanksgiving week despite it not meeting our schedule
needs, mentioned that he would just circumvent our HOA process by speaking
to individuals directly, and kept telling us how great his re-roofing job
would be for us. The feeling is that Tom wanted it his way, may be used to
bullying to get it, wants it easy without taking fair responsibility for
his burden/risk, and when it didn't go his way, he got mad. About his
assertion how it was good for us - it was noted that although it may
result in a better east view, that it may contribute to a slight increase
in property values, and that we appreciated him maintaining his rental
property as he should, ultimately, the work benefited his rental property,
not us. For us, it was an inconvenience but one that we'd take on as good
neighbors given our requirements. Last, there appears to be a disagreement
about the fence. Our builder Tony said that he paid for half the
north/south fence, Tom installed it, and that it is a shared property
line. We need to look into this further so we know. Nevertheless, the
fence should not be of issue since he's not using our property and won't
need to remove the section he had discussed. If he damages it, we'll
pursue its repair at his expense. Note that the east/west sections are
fully Newbury North property and Tony installed them. This has been an
unfortunate experience, but as we all know, we can't make everyone happy.
We tried and maintained a polite and professional position throughout.


I didn't want to have to say anything, but I've got to. Sorry. Can you
please shut off your master bath fan when you're at work at night? It's
pretty noisy and rattles through the ceiling and walls into my bedroom.
When it's all quiet at night, it's pretty hard to tune out. Incidentally,
I had Tony replace my master bath fan before I moved in because it was
loud too. I think there may be another fan in the utility room. If you
think about changing yours out, I'd be willing to help. Thanks!


Hate to bug ya, please don't be pissed, but I was wondering if there's
anything I can do to help you replace your fans. I know you've been trying
to minimize their use and not leave them on, but yesterday, Sun 12/16, was
a bad day for me. Your master bedroom bath fan was on from 8 - 3, then the
main bath fan was on from about 3:30 to 7:30. Both are really noisy; they
sound like a garbage disposal in my place. You can hear them in every
room. They're incredibly disruptive on days when I stay home trying to
have peace or get things done; gives me a headache as a matter of fact.
It's not like the intermittent traffic noise which can be tuned out; it's
constant with a nasty vibration component to it as well. Recall that I
mentioned having loud fans during my inspection; I made Tony change them
out before signing. In the meantime, I'm wondering if a little lubricant
could help, i.e. Triflo for bikes, and of course, not leaving them on all

I've really tried to keep the TV volume down and assume I've done a good
job with this. I also try to walk soft. You should hear what I have to
deal with from the guys upstairs!

As you noted, it's condo living, but the fans are something that can be
easily resolved.


I'm sorry I upset you. I didn't mean to. Yeah, I can help you out a little
with the cost of replacing the fans. They just get old. Tony should have
replaced all of them. All the noises you mentioned can be annoying. I hear
the rest as well and have learned to tune them out, but the fans are
unique in that the noise is constant and vibrating. Anyway, I'd like to
work with you on these things, not against you. I want to be your friend,
not your enemy. If you trust me to help out, maybe we can see if some
Triflo will work for the time being. I had a fan at my former place that I
lubed up every 6 months or so and it did the job for awhile. Also, give me
the model number of the fan part only and I'll keep my eyes open too. I
think there may be one in the utility closet too; I remember two fan boxes
at least. Maybe when we have our next meeting we can have some sensitivity
training and have each other over to actually hear what walking and TV
sounds like. I can trust you if you want to do this between us for now.


I was very disappointed to find that you left your fan on all day today
Thurs 1/3/08. Perhaps it was an oversight and you were just in a hurry.
However, as I've let you know on two occasions now, this is disruptive to
my quality of living and is a very easily resolved issue.

Therefore, given today's incident and the fact that I received no response
from you from me reaching out in the previous email below, I need to ask
you again to please not leave your fans on all day and to replace them in
a timely fashion. At this point, if we cannot work together to resolve
this, I will have no choice but to escalate this silly issue.

I have been a polite neighbor, patient, reasonable and have stayed above
what I feel are your disproportionate, inconsiderate and bullying
responses. Furthermore, in your capacity as the HOA president, I feel that
your behavior is unprofessional. And note that I've even offered to help
you with fan replacement costs and labor. I feel that you owe me an

This is not condo living as you say, but to me, worse than a dive
apartment when neighbors cannot be considerate, communicate effectively
and work together. In fact, the first thing I did when I moved in last
June was to call you, leave a voice mail to not be a stranger, and for you
to let me know if I'm walking too loud or making too much noise. You never
did, but simply complained about these things when I politely asked you
about your fans back in mid August of last year.

Despite your accusations of my moving furniture, toilet flushing and
walking around, these are intermittent and I make every attempt to
mitigate. And note that the furniture moving happened a few times when it
was delivered, and I take off my shoes and try to walk softly.

Car noise and loud walking upstairs is different than fan noise in that
it's intermittent whereas the fan noise is constant and vibrating. The
fans are in the ceiling cavity, meaning the noise transmits throughout my
unit through the framing, ceiling spaces and wall spaces.

As I already mentioned to you, I had Tony replace my fans as a condition
of my inspection and purchase. They were the same fans from when the
building was an apartment. They get old, out of calibration and need to be
replaced. It's that simple. I'm sorry you didn't take care of this during
your inspection.

Regarding the mold you mentioned, I was told by a builder that running a
fan all day will not solve mold problems; however, it will result in a
more costly electric bill. Can I ask about the mold? Is this a greater HOA
issue we need to know about? Do you have moisture coming through your
floor? Anyway, taking air out via a fan is good to resolve humidity as
from a shower, but this only takes a few minutes, and as the builder said,
isn't effective in reducing mold. The builder suggested that a floor fan
which moves the air would be more effective.

Last, in terms of policy, our HOA bylaws require that you replace noisy
appliances to avoid sound transmission from your unit to any other unit
adjoining or nearby (Declarations, p. 24, Section 9.14).

This isn't just about bylaws though. This is about simple civility and

I implore you to give me a call tonight and arrange to come on up to
listen to the fans for yourself or just talk this out a bit. If you need a
day to cool off, I understand. I made a special trip to send you this
email, and will not likely have email access until Mon 1/7/08.Let's work together to resolve this issue promptly. It's in OUR best

interest to be good neighbors, to deal with this and move on. I would like
a commitment on your part to not run your fans all day and a timeline of
when we will get them replaced. My expectation is that we accomplish this
no later than the end of February '08. I would like to be of assistance to
you in this process, but in order to do so, we need to talk. Thanks.


Not my favorite role in life, but can the owner scheduled for March please
do the weeding before next Monday. The weeds are getting pretty thick.
They should be pulled - not line trimmed which would just end up making a
weed lawn (the line trimmer is for the alley, street strip and east
fenceline). If we don't stay on top of the weeds this time of year,
they'll get deeper rooted and go to seed/spread, making the job for the
April person harder. If you can't do it, courtesy would suggest promptly
sending $80 with notification to the HOA so other arrangements can be
made. Thx.


A few things.
 1.       It makes sense that you want your windows cleaned to improve the presentation and sale of your unit. If others want to have this done, the HOA/Board can consider it.
 2.       Although folks don’t move very often, the HOA/Board needs to consider whether the HOA pays for this service in such cases, and if not, what needs to be done to facilitate one owner’s needs while preserving the needs of the HOA. For example, work involving the building envelope that can affect other units should be pre-approved by the HOA/Board. Also, although your needs are immediate and viewed as a single point in time, the HOA/Board needs to consider the long term frequency of this work and apply the cost to the annual budget.
 3.       Thanks for the lead and reference on the window washing contractor. The HOA/Board should approve any expenditures, contractors and work plans.
 4.       In addition to the use of HOA funds for window washing, there are also timing issues in terms of the time needed to review contractors, contracts, coordination and scheduling. What is your timeline?
 5.       Access to private east yards: Jessica mentioned cleaning the windows on Saturday and I noted that this may require accessing the east yards via 101 and 102 unless the contractor can access the side yards over the fences. Even so, these are private areas so this will take some coordination with the respective Owners. Also, these Owners should provide written approval for this access to the HOA/Board; email should be sufficient.
 6.       Closed windows: The HOA/Board needs to provide sufficient notice for Owners to close windows on the day(s) of work.
 7.       South parking access: The HOA/Board needs to provide sufficient notice for Owners to coordinate open parking on day(s) of work to allow window washing access.
 8.       Residual window washing water/dirt and exterior vinyl cladding: Depending on the process used, the entire building exterior may need to be cleaned as the dirt on the windows and any residual water used to clean them will likely sheet down the vinyl siding. I experimented with this last year when you brought up window washing and was glad when you didn’t follow through as the test spot made a mess on the exterior. Glass specialists at my workplace suggest it’s best to use a localized low pressure water stream to remove grit from the glass before cleaning to avoid scratching the glass so it seems like avoiding the dripping mess of residual dirt and water would be tough.
 9.       Moisture issues with pressure washing: If washing the entire exterior is needed, we need to be careful as to the methods used because of potential moisture issues. Note that during my first monthly maintenance almost a few years ago, I washed the stairs. Water splattered on the walls and made a mess with the dirt on the walls. They’re beige so they look fine until they get wet. I cleaned the walls with low pressure hose water while being careful to avoid doorways. However, 202 had some water drip through their inside entry light fixture. I called Tony, documented this issue via email, and he caulked around the 302 door and surrounding area. Although no problems have occurred since, we haven’t repeated these conditions. With typical rainfall, I’m not aware of any moisture issues to date but we need to be careful with atypical conditions in the stair area and around the entire exterior with high or even low pressure washing, particularly with horizontal and up-angled water. Experts at my workplace suggest not using high pressure or up-angle water jets but to use a scrub brush on a hose water supplied extension pole to wash the exterior cladding and a separate clean brush for washing the windows.
 10.   Exterior washing cost: If washing the entire exterior is necessary, if this isn’t included in the quote from Clean and Happy, this would likely cost more and we would need another estimate. Also, is deck sliding door glass, deck exterior cladding, and unit entry door windows excluded. This would make sense.
 11.   Insurance coverage: I’ve asked in the past as to whether our HOA insurance includes coverage for contractors. This needs to be verified before proceeding. Please provide references in our policy or have someone from your office follow up.
 12.   Alternatives:
 a.       Cleaning from interior spaces: I mentioned to Jessica that I pulled one of my windows last year, cleaned the exterior of the removable window inside my unit, then for the fixed portion of the window, used a microfiber brush to remove exterior grit, soaked the window with a lightly wetted sponge on an extension handle using care to avoid getting drips down the side of the building, then used a squeegee on an extension handle to remove the solution and dirt. It worked but this method has risk from damaging/scratching the glass by cleaning it without removing all the grit, dropping and breaking the windows and fall protection/falling out the window.  However, provided it doesn’t result in drips down the side of the building, work can be limited to a respective unit and wouldn’t need HOA/Board approval. I don’t think I’d do it again and the rain messed up the clean windows a few weeks later anyway.
 b.      Window cleaning from a ladder: Instead of extension brushes and water streams, the work could be done off an exterior placed extension ladder and done by hand to minimize any residual dirt and water on the building exterior in a similar fashion as with cleaning from interior spaces as described above. However, this method has risk with damaging the glass by cleaning it without removing all the grit and damaging the exterior cladding with improper ladder placement, and given the latter, this would need HOA/Board approval.
 As with the window washing, although you’re interested in a point in time, the HOA/Board needs to address the long term.
Regarding the inconsistent grounds maintenance, for the record, I’ve met my obligations of 2 x year and have the photo documentation to prove it. I think you’ve done yours too. For whatever reasons, some others haven’t done it. I resent this. It’s put a lot of extra work on those who have done the work and made the grounds look bad during the interim. I recall last summer having no time with personal obligations but getting up before 5 AM a few mornings to get the work done. I had ¾ of the weed patch along the street under control but it didn’t get sufficient follow up. Again, if everyone would have stuck with their responsibility, 4 hours a month would have been more than enough and we could keep our HOA dues low. Personally, as far as I’m concerned, the folks who’ve skipped their months should write a check out of their pockets for any missed work.
 That said, if the honorable approach is not taken and it’s decided to contract a one-shot job on the HOA dime but to follow up in-house, we’ll need to come up with some protocols, most likely HOA bylaws, to enforce such agreements and determine how to deal with issues such as off-site owners, incapacity to perform, i.e. injuries, schedule conflicts, and transitional periods when units sell and former owners move out and new owners move in. We could also adjust the fixed month schedule to a variable rotation for those who complain about getting more weeds in certain months.
 Also, as stated in the beginning, even with regular/normal in-house format, there will be a need every few years to go a little above and beyond as in the case of tree pruning and removal of the associated green waste. We’re there, so the timing is right for this whether we do it in-house or by contracting. We could add the weeding and get some economy as the contractor would already on site.
 If contracted, similar issues as with window washing will apply. For example, does our insurance provide for contractors, what is the frequency of the work, impact on the budget and HOA dues, etc? Furthermore, we’ll need to agree on a scope of work, specs, and sign a contract for any contracted one-shot jobs and/or ongoing maintenance. Note that we agreed to use mechanical hand methods to remove weeds, not chemicals. Although it would be very time consuming to do this by hand, it’s doable. As an alternative to pulling the weeds, they can be scraped off with a flat shovel, then cardboard sheet mulch is applied to the exposed soil, the cardboard is wetted, then wood chip mulch is applied on top. Still, the scraped soil will need to be removed to a waste site, not to mention greenwaste from pruning the trees, and this will take a truck. Sounds like it’s easier to contract or perhaps there’s interest in a group clean-up weekend. Last, we’ll still need to share responsibility to replace light bulbs and do any spot work between scheduled service appointments. Speaking of light bulbs, the last time I arranged to replace the parking lot light I got complaints as to how it got done and recall others voicing a few alternatives, i.e. standing on a truck cab, getting a ladder from someone’s Dad. Make it happen, the light’s been out for some time.

October 6, 2010

Re: Water Heater Leak in Newbury North Unit 201 and Related Concerns Including Risk of Water Heater Leak/Damage from Unit 301 & Other Units


I inadvertently sent a partial draft email on this subject earlier. Please delete that email.

Hoping you've had time to follow up on my phone call to you on September 20, 2010, and our conversation during your return phone call as to what approach to take following my water heater failure in unit 201 on September 18, 2010, the risk of damage from the failure of water heaters in other units, the mold I found behind my south water heater closet wall and the leak source causing the mold.

I mentioned how fortunate we were in my being home during the incident and shutting off the cold water intake when the leak started. Had I not been home and aware of the problem the leak could have resulted in tens of thousands of dollars in property damage. My water heater label showed a warranty expiration date of August 2001. Your water heater label in unit 301 directly above my unit shows a warranty expiration date of November, 2001, Bo's unit in 302 shows a warranty expiration date of October, 2001, and Jennifer's unit in 202 shows a similar date range.

Given the high risk to my family for costly property damage, disruption of quality of life, and possible temporary relocation during repairs as a result of the failure of your water heater, I encourage you to replace your water heater immediately.

Also, as our HOA insurer, I encourage you to encourage the other Owner's to replace their water heaters immediately as well. Bo/302 has already agreed to replace his water heater as has Jennifer/202. Since water damage including mold affects all Owners, the ground floor units of Jennifer/101 and Rani/102 should also replace dated water heaters.

Regarding mold, as part of my water heater replacement, even though my sheetrock was not wet, as a precaution to ensure no residual moisture, I removed the base molding and bottom 4-inches of sheetrock in my living room closet where my water heater is located. I was shocked to find mold behind my south closet wall, mostly on the backside of Unit 202's sheetrock. Uncertain of the cause of the mold, I removed more sheetrock up to a 5 foot height to the location of my water heater cold water intake, hot water distribution plumbing, and air relief valve plumbing. All connections were sound, there were no leaks. However, the removal of the additional sheetrock showed more mold on the backside of Unit 202's sheetrock. The area of this shared wall is also the water heater closet for unit 202. I informed the Owner of 202, Jennifer and her husband Lon, and invited them over to take a look. I encouraged them to take the opportunity to remove their sheetrock to avoid any health concerns related to molds. They said they felt the mold was dry/dormant, that they did not want to do anything about the sheetrock and wanted to take time to research a new water heater. Lon speculated the source of moisture could have been condensation from the copper plumbing, but it begs the question as to why it started then apparently stopped. Both the contractor that I hired and I also felt the mold appeared to be dormant and that it had been there for a long time, possibly from a prior leak that had since been resolved, reinforced in that we had just been through a rainy period and there was no moisture in the interstitial wall area. Furthermore, the closets did not appear to have been re-done as part of the condo conversion, i.e. nails instead of screws, unknown sheetrock manufacturer. I later confirmed this with the developer. Also, what is certain is that the mold was not related to my water heater - my leak was instantaneous, not a slow leak, as determined by my getting into the closet on a daily basis for cleaning gear and other goods. Nevertheless, having a 4 year old child and having concerns about health issues related to mold, I removed the remaining portion of the south closet wall sheetrock up to the ceiling, inspected the east and west walls and found no mold in those locations, took photos, had my contractor abate the mold on the backside of 202's sheetrock and complete repairs (i.e. new insulation, sheetrock, mud/tape/sand, re-seal floor, new linoleum, new baseboard molding, texture walls and paint) so that a new water heater could be installed. I kept a sample of the moldy sheetrock for testing. You suggested the HOA should pay for testing. The next day the Owners in 202 delivered a letter informing me they had changed their minds and intend to replace their sheetrock and water heater within a few weeks.

Please let me know your intentions for replacing your water heater and advise on the overall issues as our HOA insurer, i.e. timely replacement of other unit water heaters, testing the mold sample, determining the source of leak causing the mold, and inspecting for mold in other units.

Thank you.


I noticed we had a new green dumpster. Looks like the other multi-family residential buildings on the block had their dumpsters changed out as well. Do you know anything about this?

What is the volume (CY) of the new dumpster? Visually it looks smaller than the previous dumpster. Furthermore, there is a steel angle on the inside so the actual internal volume is smaller than what it would be based on the outside dimensions. I believe our previous beige dumpster was a 3/4 CY. You may recall I had the original 1 CY reduced to meet our budget years back and that seemed to work out. However, if the new green dumpster is smaller, is it sufficient? It sure seems like we used every last bit of space in the one we had.

Also, what is the rate now? What was it? And what's our account number - when I called they didn't have a record based on the address.

Last, I've noticed large items next to our dumpster on occasion. The most recent was a mattress which was leaned on the neighbors fence to the east, then moved to the telephone poll by our dumpster. Was this ours? Are we paying for other people's trash? Can you see these kinds of things on the bill when it happens?


Thanks for your quick response. I called Waste Management – the phone number on the dumpster, and they didn’t have the info. Makes sense to call SPU.

It sure looks like the new dumpster is smaller, especially with the steel angle inside that’s makes the actual volume smaller than the exterior dimensions. Might just seem smaller though – we’ll have to see if we run out of room in the next few weeks.

Good to know about the illegal dumping phone number. Curious, how many ‘extra pickups’ in the last year?

Yes, we still have ¾ CY. Sandy the inspector said the new models are narrower on the bottom as I noticed but the overall geometry still pencils out to ¾ CY. The steel baffle inside is used to convert the 1 CY to ¾ CY. Joy at SPU also noted we had 3 extra dump charges since 2011 but that this may not include our most recent bill or bill in progress (I didn’t ask her to look any further back). The most recent was on 1/5/12 for $25.80 and I asked her to give us a credit as there was no collection that week due to snow and she agreed. However, it could have been a real charge, just a week off, as there was a week around that time period with dozens of cardboard boxes from Mac’s new 301 rental tenant and a Christmas tree stuffed whole into the dumpster (trees are supposed to be cut up into small pieces and placed in greenwaste or laid whole at the side of dumpsters for a specific time period following Christmas). The other charges were from 3/17/11 and 8/25/11. Also, I saw a mattress by our dumpster a few weeks ago so keep an eye out for an extra on our next bill. I first saw the mattress leaning on the east fence of our new neighbor to the east, then it migrated to the telephone pole between their house and our building. So, the info you got for the illegal dumping phone number is good and we should call it when necessary to avoid extra charges. Also, we should first make sure it’s not 633 owners or tenants, and if it is, suggest they take care of the extras at the local landfill or if they choose to overstuff or set extras adjacent to the 633 dumpster, make sure they notify the board and cover the costs. Last, SPU suggested we call to repaint the dumpster whenever it gets tagged with graffiti. I said I worried the taggers would get mad and switch to private property such as natural wood fences or building exteriors which aren’t easy and more expensive to clean. However, Sandy said they’ve found taggers lose interest if the dumpsters get painted regularly as they want their tags to be visible. The jury’s out for me on this one. Your thoughts?

A white contractor van was parked in my unit's 201 parking stall this morning 4/4/12 at 9:15 AM, lic # 807367Z. There was no company logo on the van but it appeared to be an electrical contractor as electrical gear was visible in the van. My wife and 6 month son had just come home from dropping off our daughter at school and could not park. My wife called me at work and told me about the van and I asked her to knock on the other units before calling Jim's Northgate Towing. She found the van's owner in your unit and he moved the van. We're flexible of course and want to be supportive of 633 neighbors but this type of inconvenience is especially tough with a baby so please pass on to your contractor to avoid parking in the 201 stall, although we're fine with occasional quick, attended drop offs of materials – just so all it takes is a quick honk for someone to move and we don’t have to go look for anyone.
I’m not glad about what happened to you but I am glad you take issue with it. Note I complained about this happening to me a few times but didn’t get any support and followed through by setting up the towing arrangement with Jim’s Northgate Towing for the Newbury North years ago. Although unauthorized parking does not occur these days with my family’s stalls as it years ago, it has continued to occur on occasion and it’s very frustrating. In good faith, I have always tried to check with owners/renters, which I did as I politely mentioned to you via email (btw, no response from you) when my wife with baby, who called me out of a meeting at work, knocked on all doors at my request and found that your contractor was parked in my family’s spot on 4/4/12 at 9:15 AM (white van, license plate 807367Z). Your contractor is not the first owner/renter associate we’ve had to ask to move; in fact, it’s often visitors who either didn’t know or were ‘just going to be there for a minute’ that turned into much more. I try to let those visiting my family know not to park in other owner/renter spots. In fact, we often move our car for visitors in advance of their arrival, but I can see there’s a possibility that this could innocently happen with unexpected/ uninformed visitors, thus my practice of knocking on doors. So, I’ll try to stay with this practice but admit it is extremely inconvenient and impractical late in the evening. When I was single, especially when coming home tired at night after travel or working late, out of frustration and fatigue, I often just opted to leave a note informing the car owner of the unauthorized parking, that they were subject to towing at the their expense, and I would end up parking on the street until they moved. Now with children and less flexibility I am more inclined to resort to towing and on at least one occasion have had a tow truck remove a vehicle from my family’s stall and have called but cancelled on at least two other occasions when the car owners showed up prior to the tow truck arriving (neither were owner/tenant associates of our building but those of nearby homes, condos or apartments). Last, when dropping off groceries or kids I have on occasion parked perpendicularly at the alley edge behind my wife’s car with hopefully enough room for those on the opposite sides to get in/out while moving groceries or kids into the house and I limit this to a few minutes.