Owners at Milford’s Great Brook condominiums organize

MILFORD – Residents of the Great Brook condominiums have decided to hold a special meeting to remove Cardiff Management Inc., of Brookline, and at least one board member.

At a meeting Sunday night of 20 unit owners from the 96-unit complex, they said Cardiff has created an oppressive atmosphere with unfair and aggressive fining practices and an overall lack of transparency regarding management of the complex and the activities of the condo board.

“We are going to win this place back,” said unit owner Walter Swanbon. “They think they own the place.”

Swanbon said the group needs at least 30 signatures to hold the special meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m., in the VFW Hall.

Cal Davison, of Cardiff Management, said in a phone interview Monday morning that the unhappy owners object to the fact that “we are trying to do our job.”

“If they had bothered to read” the condo association’s bylaws, she said, they would know that decisions are made by the board, “and our job is to help the board follow” the bylaws.

Anyone who buys a unit should realize they have to live by the bylaws, she said, and anyone who wants to run for the board can do so.

Negative publicity is causing “a great deal of harm to Great Brook,” as well as other complexes, she said.

More than half the owners attended a heated meeting of the condo association Nov. 18 in the Milford VFW hall and came away frustrated, they said.

As an example of the lack of transparency and communication, Swanbon said, there were two new board members at the meeting who had been put in place with no announcement.

At the Nov. 24 meeting, people complained about what they called unfair and rude treatment by management and lack of notices about monthly meetings.

Swanbon, who bought his unit with a friend as an investment, lives in Amherst. He said his friend, who does live in the unit, ran into trouble right away when he was denied a key to the swimming pool.

“A management company is supposed to be helpful, and she (Davison) is the exact opposite,” he said.

The key to the problem is New Hampshire’s loose rules governing condominiums, he said, and a legislative committee has been working on revisions for three years.

The Dec. 12 meeting will be run by an attorney hired by the unit owners, he said.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or at kcleveland@cabinet.com.