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Here's the story, this is in the State of New Jersey.
I am renting out a condo unit that is part of a large condo community HOA.
Recently, the HVAC aircondition failed, and due to the tenant kids has medical complications, an immediate replacement was required.  Bad timing with the heat wave and weekend.
I ask one of my trusted source, whom has connection to contractors.  We got the job done, replaced the AC and furnace system - brand new. Tenant is happy.

Now the community manager is behind my back constantly telling me that I did not get approval from the board etc etc.  So I explained the emergency.
And he keeps on asking me for licenses, permits, insurance etc, for the work that was done.  So my contractor fax all those documents to him. 

The problem is that he is pushing me very tight for me to get the inspection done like the next day, and asking me for proof of payment of fees from the town, for the inspection etc etc.
The manager is giving deadlines like next day, and want to fine me for rules xyz.
My contractor tells me that it takes time. And explained me the process:
That fees will not be paid until they (the town) open up a job once the town receives the permits and then a week to 2 weeks until permit is approved (by the town) then we can pay the permit fee.  Then takes up to week for all inspection to be completed.

I'd like to get a third opinion from any experienced person about the inspection process for the work that was done.
Does the process sound right?

If anyone that are licensed contractors, could lend a hand and support me and my contractor with a note (pdf) that would be even better.  
The manager is not believing what I'm saying.

That way, I can write back to the manager with support, and ask to give more time.

Any help, comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

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If the manager is charging hourly, I 100% agree.

stanolshefski (Aug. 13, 2016 @ 7:21a) |

No.  Wingdings FTW

qcumber98 (Aug. 14, 2016 @ 12:39a) |

"Hi, this is my general contractor -- please forward all your questions to him."  General Contractors are VERY good at i... (more)

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You might try going around this property manager to the board president.

very rarely do a/c units require permitting. Most HOAs do require notice that work is being done but since its not done to community units, usually the restrictions don't fall within the homeowners themselves. I agree with the above post where its freaking hot and no one would like to live in that condition... talk to the president and the board.

The managers claim is
"This is also an insurance issue because you would void your unit from a total rebuild should a fire happen meaning a total loss"

This manager is on a power trip or juts out to get you.

Better get a lawyer on speed dial.

Talk to to the township too regarding the permits and process.

Thanks! I'll proceed with Township and get some guidance. Thank you.
I'm still open for any help anyone has to offer.

This is the downside of life in a condo. Take a break from hyperventilating and read your condo association rules, educate yourself on where you might be liable and what rules (if any) you have broken.

Next, remember you are dealing with a petty tyrant who are unlikely to go anywhere and can make your life miserable for years to come if you get on their naughty list. I would suggest being extremely nice in your communications, no matter how much it pains you to do so.

Keep the HOA tyrants happy by doing things like calling and getting the first township inspection you can (even if it's a month out). Then, follow up with an email saying that you took the first inspection and will forward results when received. Hopefully, the HOA management finds somebody new to harass by then and leaves you alone.

rwongsmu said:   very rarely do a/c units require permitting. 
  
Often required, just not obtained

pietromoon said:   
rwongsmu said:   very rarely do a/c units require permitting. 
  
Often required, just not obtained

  To install a new one? Or even to replace an existing unit (as in OP)?

To put your mind at ease a little, although condo docs tend to have wording that a unit owner must pay court costs in a dispute, when a unit owner refuses to pay punishment fees but has acted responsibly in all other ways when a trustee board is on a wild power trip, I have not yet heard of a court finding a remedy other than dismissal with a requirement that both parties play nice going forward.

What I have seen is no punishment fees or court costs (other than your own).

fwuser12 said:   
pietromoon said:   
rwongsmu said:   very rarely do a/c units require permitting. 
  
Often required, just not obtained

  To install a new one? Or even to replace an existing unit (as in OP)?

  Most localities I work in require permits for both.

Mowshang said:   Now the community manager is behind my back constantly telling me that I did not get approval from the board etc etc. 
And he keeps on asking me for licenses, permits, insurance etc, for the work that was done.  
The problem is that he is pushing me very tight for me to get the inspection done like the next day, and asking me for proof of payment of fees from the town, for the inspection etc etc.
The manager is giving deadlines like next day, and want to fine me for rules xyz.  


Sounds like harassment. Most HOA's send out certified letters for violations. If this guy is in your face about this, go file a restraining order.

Thanks for all that shared their opinion, definitely was useful.

The manager is not really in my face per se, however constant emails emphasized with LARGE BOLD RED fonts and warning me about the Town will "RED TAGGing" my place and suspend anyone from living in it.

I wanted to do I good thing for my tenant (she has a son with Medical complications) and the extreme weather was not helping.
Anyone knows what the Town will do? Will they really kick her out?

When I replaced the A/C in my place in Florida, the town gave me 6 months to get it inspected. Don't worry about it.

Mowshang said:    constant emails emphasized with LARGE BOLD RED fonts
 

  
Internet Rule 17c - Anyone who uses comedy fonts can be ignored.

"...Work without a permit is illegal and can pose serious complications for you when you sell your house. Penalties for failure to obtain a permit prior to construction are up to $2,000 for each offense..." [N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.31 (e)]

It has list what needs permits in NJ

http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes/codreg/pdf_regs/njac_5_23_... 

svap said:   "...Work without a permit is illegal and can pose serious complications for you when you sell your house. Penalties for failure to obtain a permit prior to construction are up to $2,000 for each offense..." [N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.31 (e)]

It has list what needs permits in NJ

http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/codes/codreg/pdf_regs/njac_5_23_...

ETA: See AlwaysWrite's post below.  He's right.  

 <strike>The doc says: The following items are ordinary maintenance and shall be treated as such by every enforcing agency.  No permit for, inspections of, or notice to the enforcing agency of ordinary maintenance shall be required.  This is not an all-inclusive listing of ordinary maintenance.

Here's what the doc says constitutes "ordinary maintenance" for HVAC.  I would argue that the bolded sections cover pretty much everything involved in replacing an external a/c unit.

~5. Ordinary heating, ventilation and air conditioning maintenance shall include:
i. Replacement of motors, pumps and fans of the same capacity;
ii. Repair and replacement of heating, supply and return piping and radiation elements, which does not
require rearrangement of the piping system;
iii. Repair and replacement of duct work;
iv. Repair of air conditioning equipment and systems; and
v. Repair or replacement of control devices for heating and air conditioning equipment; and
vi. Replacement of kitchen range hoods in single family dwellings.
vii. Replacement of clothes dryers serving and located within dwelling units, provided that no change in
fuel type or location or electrical characteristics is required.
viii. Replacement of stoves and ovens in dwelling units, provided no change in fuel type or location or
electrical characteristics is required.</strike>

I would use that last info as it looks spot on and tell the HOA jerk that you have an obligation to the tenant to make thier home habitable in a timely manner then unplug thier AC unit of a terribly hot day for good measure.

I don't think "ordinary maintenance" covers replacing the whole system. Certainly (iv) "repair of..." and (v) "replacement of control devices" (thermostats) does NOT cover replacement. As for (i) "replacement of motors, pumps, and fans" that sounds intentionally different from replacing the whole air handler or compressor, or it would have said so.

I think it would actually be covered under "Minor Work" (§ 5:23-2.17A):

"3. Minor work shall also mean and shall include the replacement of existing low pressure boilers, warm air furnaces, air conditioning units and air conditioning condensing units with new appliances of like capacity;"

That seems to require notice and an application within 5 days of the notice.

Mowshang said:   Here's the story, this is in the State of New Jersey.
I am renting out a condo unit that is part of a large condo community HOA.
Recently, the HVAC aircondition failed, and due to the tenant kids has medical complications, an immediate replacement was required.  Bad timing with the heat wave and weekend.
I ask one of my trusted source, whom has connection to contractors.  We got the job done, replaced the AC and furnace system - brand new. Tenant is happy.

Now the community manager is behind my back constantly telling me that I did not get approval from the board etc etc.  So I explained the emergency.
And he keeps on asking me for licenses, permits, insurance etc, for the work that was done.  So my contractor fax all those documents to him. 

The problem is that he is pushing me very tight for me to get the inspection done like the next day, and asking me for proof of payment of fees from the town, for the inspection etc etc.
The manager is giving deadlines like next day, and want to fine me for rules xyz.
My contractor tells me that it takes time. And explained me the process:
That fees will not be paid until they (the town) open up a job once the town receives the permits and then a week to 2 weeks until permit is approved (by the town) then we can pay the permit fee.  Then takes up to week for all inspection to be completed.

I'd like to get a third opinion from any experienced person about the inspection process for the work that was done.
Does the process sound right?

If anyone that are licensed contractors, could lend a hand and support me and my contractor with a note (pdf) that would be even better.  
The manager is not believing what I'm saying.

That way, I can write back to the manager with support, and ask to give more time.

Any help, comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

  Something similar I went through 2 years back in NJ for a rental property.
You are right about township inspection and possibly 2 to 4 weeks delay. You may want to ask  your contractor to submit papers in person. In our township, paper takes more than a week to get to the inspection department once it is received by township mail handling person. Once township has papers, talk to inspector personally and request to speed up. That may help getting inspection done ASAP. In the meantime as other suggested, talk to HOA community manager, keep him posted with progress. Community manager wants to cover himself in case someone asks him question and that's why he is acting tough. As long as he has communication that you are working on it, he would be OK.

AlwaysWrite said:   I don't think "ordinary maintenance" covers replacing the whole system. Certainly (iv) "repair of..." and (v) "replacement of control devices" (thermostats) does NOT cover replacement. As for (i) "replacement of motors, pumps, and fans" that sounds intentionally different from replacing the whole air handler or compressor, or it would have said so.

I think it would actually be covered under "Minor Work" (§ 5:23-2.17A):

"3. Minor work shall also mean and shall include the replacement of existing low pressure boilers, warm air furnaces, air conditioning units and air conditioning condensing units with new appliances of like capacity;"

That seems to require notice and an application within 5 days of the notice.

  Missed that part - I agree, it sounds like the work is a much better fit for that category. 

You called for repair (which does not require a permit) and when they were there and determined they could not repair it, they replaced it due to the kid's medical condition.
Now you meticulously document each step in the process of getting your permit and approval, and get the issuing agencies to respond regarding expected duration.
You send a note to the management guy briefly outlining the above, stating you did this per your duty to make reasonable accommodations for medical conditions, and include something to the effect that you are sure he is not suggesting that either you or him violate that duty.

Without rendering any opinion on whether replacement of an HVAC unit requires permit and inspection, you may want to look at:

§ 5:23-2.8 Installation of equipment (a)   When the installation, extension or alteration of mechanical equipment, refrigeration, air conditioning or ventilating apparatus, plumbing, gas piping, electric wiring, heating system or other equipment is specifically controlled by the provisions of this chapter, it shall be unlawful to use such equipment until a certificate of occupancy or certificate of approval, as the case may be, has been issued therefor by the construction offi- cial having jurisdiction. Use of elevator devices shall be subject to  N.J.A.C. 5:23-12.9.
1. Exception: Equipment replacement under minor or emergency work may be put into use prior to the issuance of a certificate of approval.

IANYL.
 

I'd put a rock through one of their windows. But that's just me, and I take psych meds. I live in a condo and just replaced my whole HVAC system. They'd have to be crazy to bother me.

I would over communicate with him. Every communication you get with city or AC guy...forward that or call the guy to give him an update. He's bored and lonely.

ganda said:   Mowshang said:    constant emails emphasized with LARGE BOLD RED fonts
 

  
Internet Rule 17c - Anyone who uses comedy fonts can be ignored.

COMIC SANS MS 4 LYF!!!!!

stanolshefski said:   You might try going around this property manager to the board president.  

It really sounds like the manager will do anything to make work for himself.
My recommendation to the board is that they terminate his contract as quickly as is practical.

taxmantoo said:   
stanolshefski said:   You might try going around this property manager to the board president.
  

It really sounds like the manager will do anything to make work for himself.
My recommendation to the board is that they terminate his contract as quickly as is practical.

  If the manager is charging hourly, I 100% agree.

KayK said:   
ganda said:   
Mowshang said:    constant emails emphasized with LARGE BOLD RED fonts
  
Internet Rule 17c - Anyone who uses comedy fonts can be ignored.

COMIC SANS MS 4 LYF!!!!!

  No.  Wingdings FTW

ganda said:   
Mowshang said:    constant emails emphasized with LARGE BOLD RED fonts
  
Internet Rule 17c - Anyone who uses comedy fonts can be ignored.

  
"Hi, this is my general contractor -- please forward all your questions to him."  General Contractors are VERY good at ignoring twits on a power trip.  Then add the property managers emails to a sort filter that marks them read and sticks them in a separate folder, you can then ignore them completely.    I would say delete them automatically, but you might need them someday.

The property manager can't "red-tag" a property, only code enforcement  can.  If you are fine with the city then that isn't an issue.



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