Frequently Asked Questions


When will my lawn be cut?
Once spring cleanup is completed, the lawns will be cut once a week usually on Thursday, weather permitting. In July and August, if it's very dry, and there is little growth we will skip a week.
 
When will my driveway be plowed?
Driveways are plowed at the end of the storm and when 4” or more of snow have fallen. Each storm the plows are rotated around circle so that one neighborhood does not always get done first. Emergency situations only should be called into the office or the on-call emergency number.
 
What do I do if my smoke detectors are beeping? Smoke detectors are hard wired so you have to disconnect and replace. To disconnect remove cover, squeeze plastic connector and unplug. You may need pliers to do this. If beeping continues you may have to disconnect all of them because they run off one another. Call the office for a replacement right away because you do not want to be without this. Also remember to vacuum these once a year to keep dust and spider webs from forming.
 
What needs to be done with the furnace and air conditioning?
Furnace and air conditioner needs to be serviced once a year by a professional.  Filter should be cleaned or replaced. Units with air conditioners in the attic should have the condensation line checked yearly as well.
 
Do dryer vents need to be cleaned?
It is recommended to have this checked. Dryer vents can build up with lint and be a potential fire hazard. A good indication of a problem is when your clothes start taking longer and longer to dry. A Duct cleaning company can do this.
 
What safety procedures need to be done with washing machines?
First, always keep water shut off when not in use and never leave unattended while on. Hoses and shut off valves should be checked periodically and hoses should be replaced. Both hoses should be replaced at the same time.
 
What do we need to know about water heaters?
Empty a couple of gallons every 2 to 3 months to eliminate sediment build up on bottom. If water heater fails and you have a leak shut off the water line and gas line (find out where it is now) and call the office. Water will have to be vacuumed up and the facilities department can replace or you can call a plumber direct.
 
Who do I call if the electricity goes out?
If your power goes out you must call Massachusetts Electric at 1-800-465-1212. If your bathroom power outlet doesn’t work, it is probably the GFCI. Check outlet in garage that has the red and blue push buttons. Push the red to reset and blue should pop out and power should be restored (some may be white). Otherwise call an electrician because your GFCI may need to be replaced.
 
Are garage doors my responsibility?
Yes. Springs and mechanisms need to be greased yearly. To replace you need to make out a “Request for Alteration” form needs to be filled out. Maintenance requires that you spray WD-40 on rollers once a year.
 
Are doors and windows my responsibility?
Yes, the fixing and replacement are your responsibility; Painting of new door and associated trim are also your responsibility.Please call the office for paint colors.
 
What lights outside our unit get replaced under our condo fees?
The outside garage light and/or front door light are replaced as needed, just call the office. The patio light is your personal responsibility.
 
What should I do before I go away?
If you are going away for an extended period of time call the office and let them know. If it is during the winter months, make sure you shut of the main water line and be sure to leave thermostat on 60 degrees or higher. Normally we will go in periodically while unit is empty to be sure there are no problems.
 
What arrangements can be made for deliveries when I am not at home?
Deliveries can be made during office hours by letting us know in advance. They can be left at the office or put inside front door.
 
I have mice. What can I do?
Management will close any holes around the unit but will not trap mice. Various types of traps are available at the hardware store.
 
I have ants. What can I do?
The association treats all foundations for ants once a year. Should you get little ants, ant traps work well. If you are noticing large, carpenter ants, please call the office.
 
I hear squirrels in my attic. What should I do?
Call the office for these critters. We have a resident who volunteers his time and will set up a cage which will trap them safely and he will remove them from our property.
 
What do I do if I see termites?
When termites swarm you will see a mass of flying small tiny bugs, with wings. Do not panic, these do not do damage and will die when exposed to light. You can leave a light as low to the floor as possible and they will be attracted to it and die. Notify the office as to their location and our pest control company will come to check it out the next time they are on the premises.
 
What can I do with yard waste?
BFI, our waste removal company, will take a small amount each week if placed in a black plastic bag (no rocks or too heavy a bag). In the fall the Town of Clinton usually sets up a few Saturdays to drop of leaves.
 
What are the rules for rubbish removal?
Rubbish is picked up on Wednesday by BFI unless there is a holiday that falls on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday; then it will be picked up on Thursday. Trash should be put out in securely tied plastic bags, no earlier than 6 am the day of pick up. Paper bags should not be used as the wind removes the contents. All boxes must be broken down. The Town of Lancaster’s recycle center will take tires and appliances on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For larger items call the office.
 
My dishwasher will not turn on. What can the problem be?
There is an on/off electrical switch on wall, which may have been accidentally turned off. If there is still a problem with the washer then you will need to call an appliance repairman.
 
Can I plant a garden?
The privilege of being able to individualize our homes with plantings does create the responsibility of caring for them properly.

Flowers may be planted in the common area beds at the front of units, but at no time can beds be enlarged or changed in any way, without the prior approval of the Board of Trustees though a “Request for Alteration” form. This includes the removal and/or planting of any shrubs.

Once flowers have been planted, the resident becomes responsible for weeding and edging the bed. This will prevent any problems with damage from the landscaper’s equipment.More elaborate gardening may be done in your limited common area, which is the twenty feet directly behind your unit. Although we encourage planting in your limited common areas, please keep in mind that any plantings may not interfere with the cutting or maintenance of the lawn area. All gardens must be edged and kept weed free. If gardens are not properly maintained, you will be asked to remove them and put the area back to it’s original condition, per the condominium documents.

Also remember, if you decide to sell your unit and the new owner does not agree to assume responsibility for the gardens, you will be required to return the area to it’s original condition prior to closing on you unit.


 

What is a 6(d) certificate and when do I need one?
Massachusetts Law protects condominium owners and the Association from owners who do not pay their condo fees and attempt to sell their unit and leave their debt behind for the rest of the community to pay. The Law that protects us from this is M.G.L. c. 183A section 6, which says that condo fees are a “super-lien” and must be paid even before a mortgage.

 

The certificate issued by the Condo Association that details any outstanding common expense and any other sums that have been assessed against a unit owner is called a 6(d) certificate. This simply refers to the section of the law that requires a detailed statement of any monies owed to the Association. Any outstanding balance owed, will be recorded as a lien against the property.

An owner is usually required to show clear title to a property when the unit is sold or re-financed, therefore their unit must have any money owed to the Association fully paid, so there are no liens against the property. Often time homeowners don’t request this certificate until the last minute.This causes stress for the homeowner and the Management Office.Please give the office at least 5 days notice to insure that your certificate will be ready for your closing.

When the sale of a unit is involved, a site inspection must also be completed. A site inspection includes noting any gardening or attachments, such as hose hangers, flower baskets, etc. Although Ridgefield allows gardening in the limited common area (20 feet directly behind unit) the rules also state that garden must be maintained, so in the event that a prospective buyer is not interested in maintaining a garden, the owner must return the yard to its original condition. Any attachments to trim or fencing must also be removed and holes caulked.This becomes important because often owners request the Management remove gardens, which involves a charge and therefore needs to be paid prior to the 6(d) certificate being issued.

Once these things have been completed, the President of the Board of Trustees must sign the certificate and it must be notarized so it can be recorded as a legal document.

What is the cost for processing the 6(d) certificate and associated paperwork?

If you are re-financing your mortgaging the cost is $25, and if you are selling it is $75.

What is a "Request for Alteration"?
An alteration is any change to the original assets (building and grounds) owned by all 360 unit owners - known as Common areas in our Ridgefield Condo Documents (5-10.1 to 5.10.4 pg 3-22 to 3-27)
  1. When replacing windows, doors, sliders or garage doors, they must be on the pre-approved list to conform to the condominiums specifications. On the “Request of Alteration” form the following must be completed:
    • What you want to replace.
    • Name of pre-approved window, slider or garage door.
    • Contractor’s name doing installation. (Certificate of insurance must be filed in management office.) Installation cannot take place without written approval.
    • Sign and return to Management office.
  2. The office sends form to Design & Review Committee:
    • The Design & Review Committee reviews paperwork and acquires appropriate signatures.
    • Returns form to office.
  3. Approval letter sent to you from Management Office to proceed if in compliance.

All other Common Area Alterations:

  1. Make out a “Request of Alteration” form obtained in the Management Office and fill in the following:
    • What you want to do with your unit. Include drawings, pictures or plans if needed.
    • Who will perform the work.
    • Sign and return to Management Office.
  2. The Management Office sends to Design and Review Committee:
    • Design and Review Committee need 2 ½ weeks to review and do paper work before Board of Trustees meeting
    • They visit the site and will either recommend approval or disapproval to the Board of Trustees.
    • Design and Review Committee types up their recommendations and returns it to the Management Office.
  3. A Resolution is prepared and presented to the Board of Trustees at their next scheduled meeting.
    • The resolution is presented to the Board. (You are invited to attend.)
    • The Board votes to either approve or deny.
  4. A letter is sent from the Management Office to you with the Board of Trustees’ decision.
  5. If approved you can now have the work done.
What is limited common area?
The Limited Common Area is the land area twenty feet deep along the full width of the rear of your unit. This area is for your exclusive use providing that it is consistent with the provisions of the Master Deed, Declaration of Trust and Rules and Regulations. Please refer to Master Deed, page 2-5 paragraph 7.