Owners at Great Brook in Milford say condo complex is badly managed

MILFORD – Residents of Great Brook Condominiums say they are frustrated with what they call the heavy-handed management of their complex, including an unreasonably aggressive fining system.

On Monday night, condo owners from the 96-unit complex filled a large meeting hall in the Milford VFW for the association’s annual meeting. Later, several of them said they had not been allowed to make any of the changes they want.

“People were steaming. They want a new president (of the board) and they want to fire Cardiff” the management company, unit owner Walter Swanbon said after the meeting.

Only condo owners or their proxies were allowed into the meeting, which everyone agreed became heated at times. There was a Milford police officer there and Swanbon said he paid for a police detail to keep order.

Great Brook’s management has created an oppressive atmosphere that has “caused people a lot of pain,” Swanbon said.

In a phone interview the next day, the main target of the complaints, Cal Davison, of Cardiff Management Inc., of Brookline, said those who want the changes are condo owners who don’t want to obey the rules, and management is following rules allowed by state law.

The fact that roughly half of the condo owners attended the Nov. 18 meeting does not mean there is a problem with management, she said.

“What we have here are people who want to cause harm, and they invent stories,” she said, “and other people jump on that bandwagon. That’s what’s going on at Great Brook.”

A few other unit owners who talked to The Cabinet did not want their names in the paper, but Cheryl Dadah said she sent Cardiff two certified letters asking to be on the ballot for a board seat, but Davison said she didn’t receive them.

Swanbon said the main problem is that New Hampshire’s weak condo laws allow boards too much power.

“People have been so upset for years,” he said, and as a result Great Brook condos have not been holding their value.

Twenty letters have been sent to the state attorney general’s office complaining about the management, he said, and 50 people have signed a petition asking for change.

Management “recites the RSAs over and over to beat people down,” he said. “You’re treated as an idiot if you don’t know the bylaws.”