Thanks to all the Unit Owners who participated. The next Owner’s Forum is scheduled for Wednesday May 4th at 7pm in the Party Room.
Board Member Dave Nicosia attended the meeting and asked for management to provide some follow up and feedback to some questions that came up:
Q: A good part of the owners forum was discussing water leaks…Who is responsible (who’s insurance)? What if our neighbor upstairs has a toilet that leaks or a humidifier that causes the windows to ice up and then thaw causing leaking into the apartment below?
A: Leaks and floods and any damages they cause in a condominium setting are definitely confusing. In the upcoming edition of the Tower Talk Newsletter, our insurance broker Nancy Ayers wrote a column discussing this in fairly good detail. Without stealing her thunder, each situation has to be handled on a case by case basis. But in most cases, a condo association such as ours is responsible to insure the common elements up to the shell of the unit (concrete floor, ceiling and perimeter drywall up to the primer coat of paint) and Unit Owners and residents are responsible to insure and coordinate repairs to their property within the shell of the unit.
A couple nuances – if there is negligence, all bets are off – for example, if the unit using the humidifier is knowingly causing leaking, and that leaking is doing damage to the neighbors hardwood floor, the neighbor with the humidifier may be responsible. A better example would be someone falling asleep with the bath water running, and it overflows. Those are some examples of what may be considered negligence and in the case of negligence, the negligent party may be on the hook for all the damages.
Also, the condo association may charge back the cost of damages to the unit owner where the leak originated, up to the deductible on the Association’s insurance. In our case, that is $10,000. So, say the pipes under the sink in unit 1313 leak into several units below – at PTCA, we will clean up the leak and do any drywall and ceiling repairs. The cost up to $10,000 would be charged back to 1313. All other owners would be responsible for their own cabinets and flooring, if damaged.
Q: What about leaks in common areas – again who is responsible. E.g. the cooling tower on the roof springs a leak and floods the apartments below, Or as the result of a non-negligent fire (firemen spraying water)?
A: Same as above…a condo association inures the common elements up to the shell of the unit. Unit owners and residents insure their property for all risks.
Q: Does the building repair drips for free or is there a charge? What about clogged drains?
A: For dripping faucets and fixtures there is no labor charge; this has been a policy for over a decade and is meant to promote residents reporting their drips right away. However, there may be a charge for parts – it just depends on the situation. If your faucet is failing, and needs to be replaced, the Association cannot pay for a new faucet. We will not charge back for small things like screens, washers and aerators.
Clogged drains would be repaired free of charge if it is determined the clog is resulting from the common waste stack. That is usually obvious because multiple units would be experiencing the problem. If the clog is obviously within your unit or the branch line leading to the common stack, you would be charged for labor. The staff is instructed to be very lenient about this – but if we keep getting calls because hair is clogging the tub drain, and its an ongoing problem, the owner will be charged.
Recently we had a problem with a resident flushing chunks of meat and chicken bones down the toilet. Obviously, the owner was charged for the repairs.
Q: Can we have washers and dryers in our unit?
A: The Rules and Regulations state the following, under ‘Appliances’: “Clothes washers, dryers and dishwashers may not be installed without written approval from the Association. Traditional washers and dryers may be installed only in combined units, after approval by the Board. Written requests for “HE” (high efficiency) low capacity/low suds washers and ventless dryers elsewhere will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and such requests should include the type and model number and who will perform the installation in the case of washers and dryers.”
Owners considering such an installation should also request a copy of the current Construction and Remodeling packet from the Management Office.
Q: What causes leaking when it rains?
A: This would have to be answered on a case by case basis, but in most cases we find it is one of the following:
1. A window above or next door to you is open.
2. The weather stripping on an operable window in your unit or a unit next to or above yours is failing.
3. Severe weather. High winds can force water through the cracks in operable windows, and into “weep holes” which are located on the exterior of Park Tower’s curtain wall. The metal framework has gaps and expansion joints, and is hollow in many spots inherently as a part of the design. Water can enter either from condensation on the inside windows and frames or the weather on the outside. Theoretically these weep holes are meant to help water escape the curtain wall via gravity and/or evaporation, but in just the right wind speed and direction can force it into the unit.
Q: What happened to Channel 195?
A: The current technology used over the RCN network has exceeded a very very old re-purposed computer’s ability to keep up. And unfortunately it’s not as simple as just buying a new computer. It is on our to-do list, and hopefully we will have it back up and running in the next couple months.
Q: What reserve projects are being done this next year – and how come owners were not sent a list?
A: The budget was mailed via USPS to all owners of record on December 22nd. The projects planned for this year were listed both on the cover letter sent with the budget, and on page 3 of the actual budget under the section titled “Capital Expenses”. This cover letter and a pdf of the budget document were also posted on this website, and copies were again made available to everyone who attended the special meeting held to review the budget on Monday January 11th.
If you are an owner, and need another copy of the budget, please shoot us an e-mail.
Q: What can be done about the ‘big’ bump coming off of Sheridan into the garage driveway?
A: Please (please, please) call or write the Alderman’s office. Unfortunately, Management has tried to have this addressed repeatedly in the past. The City insisted nothing could be done to change the grade due to the position of the sewer drain. It has to be pitched to code so that it adequately drains water from the street. AND, they insist the drain can not be relocated even a little to help ease the pitch. We even presented evidence of vehicles being damaged turning into the driveway. Not even that made a difference.
A group of Sheridan Road managers which I meet with on occasion (representing many buildings and management companies), are trying to schedule a meeting with Alderman Osterman sometime in March. I will bring this issue up again, but it might really help if more residents (AKA Voters) call or write and complain.
48th Ward Office, 5533 N. Broadway St., Chicago, Illinois 60640
phone: (773) 784-5277
fax: (773) 784-6630
Q: How come a text notification for the Unit Owner Forum wasn’t sent?
A: The SMS Text Notifications are a new program, and we are adjusting to the need to incorporate that service as often as possible to supplement our routine communication efforts. But keep in mind, this will only be done when we are able. When the course of business during any particular day prevents it, a text might not go out. That being said, notice of this forum was mailed, e-mailed, posted on the bulletin boards and website, and included on the monthly assessment statement mailed to owners.
Q: Why is the molding on the party room floor cracked?
A: This is currently being dealt with by our staff. We believe the material we used is not good for the amount of traffic as well as the chair carts which are probably too excessive in wight to be wheeled over the wood strips repeatedly. So we are looking into a vinyl or rubber stripping to use as an alternative.
Any other questions? Please e-mail the office.
The next Owner’s Forum is scheduled for Wednesday May 4th at 7pm in the Party Room.