Surely, there is no condo in Philippines that hasn’t received a complaint or two from its owners, tenants, and guests. Some are petty, and some are serious enough that the owners already decided to sell their units. Complaints are inevitable regardless of how efficient you think you are in managing the condominium. Now, what happens if you are an owner, renter or guest and you want to complain about faulty wiring in your unit? Here’s how.
Before that though, let me tell you that there are hundreds of condo complaints. Some of these common complaints include:
- Faulty wiring
- Faulty plumbing
- Faulty wiring
- Substandard workmanship
- Undelivered facilities
- Undelivered amenities
- Violation of building codes
- Unclear fire exits
- Water leakage
- Gas leakage
- Damaged facilities
- Damaged common areas
- Malfunctioning security cameras
- Malfunctioning elevator
- Unreasonable association fees
- Noisy neighbors
For the owners, what you can do is to:
1) Document the complaint
Before drafting the letter of complaint, make sure that you have proofs. Take pictures of the impact of the damage, for instance, and attach it to the message. Gather as much evidence as you can; this can make your claim stronger. If you can secure certifications from qualified professionals such as civil engineers, the better.
2) Draft the letter
The letter of complaint should detail the grievance itself. You might as well include the solutions that you want that you may have to negotiate later on with the condominium developer, management or association. Make it sound formal and severe. Make it clear that you intend to solve the issue(s).
3) Deliver the letter
Do it personally. Make sure that the clerk or staff properly receive it. There should be a stamped receipt date and by whom. Make three copies – one for the developer’s office, one for the association and keep the third copy. This will be a fundamental part of your documentation.
4) Wait for the response
Upon receipt of the letter, the developer must respond to the message within seven business days. That’s a rule of thumb. Of course, we don’t want the problem to escalate. However, if the developer is unresponsive after that period, you can further file a complaint to the HLURB (Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board). Attach the letter of complaint you sent the developer with the written complaint.
If the developer is a member of the Chamber of Real Estate and Builders’ Association Inc., you can also send a copy of the written complaint to the association. Developers have written contracts and commitments to the unit owners most specifically. The association acts as a ‘witness’ and thus may act based on the violation(s) of the contract.
By this time, the developer should have acted upon your complaint. If there are no actions whatsoever on the part of the developer, you may consider sending media organizations your complaint. Make the public aware of the situation, so that they won’t subject themselves in the same situation. If they already are, you may help them in educating them what to do with their complaints.
- Strength in numbers – If there are other unit owners and renters who have the same or related complaints, consider filing the complaint as a group. This strengthens the case as well.
- Legal consultation – If all else fails, you may consult with a property lawyer. If all else fails, the lawyer can make you aware of your legal options as rightful owners.
Regardless of what your complaint may be, the bottom-line is to make your concerns heard and by the proper authority. The steps outlined above are just a guide since condo management differs from one condo to another, and so are the complaints. Nevertheless, these steps can give you the right responses from the developer.