Lessons from the Mayor’s Office in Condo Law

By Sean Regan

During my early career at Mayor Tom Menino’s Office of Neighborhood Services, I was taught a valuable lesson that I carry with me today: every call to our office signified someone in a tough spot, seeking assistance during what could be one of the most challenging periods of their life; usually from someone who felt alone, like they couldn’t do it alone. These issues were usually deeply personal and affected the homes and neighborhoods in which people lived.


I have come to find that this is not unlike our practice at Allcock & Marcus as condominium lawyers, where almost every call we receive concerns a very personal problem usually tied to people’s homes, and the immediately surrounding area. These, too, are usually deeply personal. In my time at the Mayor’s Office, I took great pride in being able to show up with solutions when people needed it most. Drawing on these experiences, I’ve come to understand the responsibility that comes with providing solutions for people’s problems. I look back at 2023 and find much to be proud of in our work at Allcock & Marcus, solving deeply personal problems, working towards the common good, and doing what’s right for the little guy.


With the new year beginning, I reflect on a number of instances where our firm has taken the unpopular position, and taken on the fight of the little guy, just because it was the right thing to do. Most of these are private client matters that should not be elaborated upon here, done without fanfare away from the bright lights, simply because it’s right. In sum, Allcock & Marcus takes on hard fights to do what’s right, by taking tough sometimes unpopular positions and challenging those with deep pockets, cities, towns and other bureaucracies. And we aren’t afraid to go against the grain.


In this spirt and more publicly, due to our work at Allcock & Marcus to protect condominium owners, “Fannie Mae” has recently announced that it will make public its secret “Condo Unavailable Projects and Phases Report,” better known as the “Blacklist.” This came especially from the relentless efforts of our firm leadership in their decades long mission to protect and fight for the little guy – the unit owners and condominium associations who were rendered unmarketable and uninsurable because of overbearing and covert bureaucracy. As we move into the new year, we look forward to a transparent process where we can continue to lead in attacking this issues and the critical deferred maintenance issues of many condominium associations that placed them on the “blacklist.”


Additionally, it’s an apt time for everyone to pause and look at the year in review. Businesses, condominium associations and even individuals would be well advised to pause and reflect on their previous year’s deficiencies, shortcomings and vulnerabilities. For it is only after we find a problem that we can fix it. I especially encourage condominium associations to review their deferred maintenance and security measures, given that these issues have appeared to be quite prevalent in the community association industry landscape over the past year. Proactively assessing security protocols and addressing deferred maintenance issues can also significantly uplift residents’ quality of life.


However, these battles are never easy. Condo associations face constraints, bureaucratic hurdles, and financial limitations. Other clients face problems that seem insurmountable, as well. This is precisely where our expertise steps in, navigating complexities, advocating for change, ensuring fairness prevails, and fighting for the underdog.


At Allcock & Marcus, in 2024 our commitment to solving these problems will remain resolute. Reminiscent of my time at the Mayor’s Office, we take great pride in standing firm for what’s right, advocating for the “little guy,” and providing solutions when they matter most. As we step into the new year, when you are faced with a problem, remember, we are here when you need us.


Written by

Sean Regan


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