Condo Wars

We won a huge battle tonight at my condo. Too many details to cover here, but basically my building is a condo-conversion. Apartments to Condos. Our developer and slum-lord, Steve Wasser, has had autonomous control of the Sherwood Condo and the Board of Directors (he is the board). So any complaints of how things are being run, finances, maintenance, etc essentially fell on deaf and unresponsive ears. So tonight was our first annual meeting in which the owners now had a greater % of the ownership. But only by a small margin: 51% for us, 49% for him. So if we didn’t all vote, weren’t all present, or had some other technicality that rendered a single vote null and void, he would maintain control of the voting process, and likely the board. It wouldn’t have been permanent, and once we had 60% ownership (and assuming we could count everyone’s vote) we could overturn this election, but it would have been a huge headache and short-term blow to our chances to properly run this place.

But we prevailed. No, we didn’t have all the votes. We dropped the ball on some our proxy votes and technicalities – BUT, this is because we weren’t properly informed of the voting and nominating procedures per the Maryland Condo Act and our very own Sherwood condo bylaws. It requires 45 days advanced notice of exactly how proxies (where one owner who will not be present gives authority to another owner to vote on their behalf) should submitted and how nominations for board positions should be submitted. We’d hired a lawyer months back for guidance on these issues and to cover our ass against the shading tactics of Steve Wasser and tonight it paid off. He was present and helped guide us through protecting our interests.

So – a minor victory. We won this battle. In 60 days we will convene again to vote and be ready this time to hold a proper election in which the true owners of the Sherwood – those with a vested and long term interest – maintain control of the board.


~ by Indy on April 13, 2007.

5 Responses to “Condo Wars”

  1. Good for you! By you, I do mean all those who bought into the building. I wish you continued success in getting ownership, having clout and getting things done. I realize it has been a headache and expense. Think positive!!!
    PS you will be in sorry shape when you reach Wilmington due to DC traffic and sleepless night. Breath deep and enjoy McKenna’s smile in the morning.

  2. Hello,

    You don’t know me from adam but I came across this post (which looks like its from 2007) and wanted to hear more about the current condition of the Sherwood. My husband and I are seriously considering buying a condo there, so we appreciate any info you would be willing to provide.

    Thanks for your time,


    • The building (in terms of maintenance and owner-control) has come a long way since that post.† That said, I would ask who you are buying from?† Steve Wasser (former landlord) or an individual owner?† What unit?

      In any case, at the current pricing the condos are a steal and likely a worthy investment.† There are still issues (mostly with the management company and some apathetic owners/renters), but the trajectory is mostly positive.


  3. Evan,

    Thanks so much for your quick response! We have fha financing, but as I’m sure you know, the building is not fha approved. It’s a long story, but we would buy the unit through Steve Wasser and finance through him. He has agreed to really good terms and of course we will have our own lawyer examine the contract. I think he just wants to get it sold. We really like the unit and that particular area of Takoma Park, so we just want to make sure the building really is as good of a deal as it seems.

    Thanks for your input!


  4. Sorry you asked for the unit–it’s 504. I had heard that the building had sued the developer over the roof, can you tell me a bit more about that? You can respond to my personal email if that would be better.

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