Decks and Doors and Windows and Walls… Decks and Doors and Windows and Walls… Decks and Doors and Windows and Walls…
Who is responsible for the maintenance and replacement of items such as decks, doors, windows and walls?
Condo Limited Common Elements - Owners vs. Association
It’s common in a Condo Association that Limited Common Elements such as these come into question. My favorites are Decks and Doors.
When looking through the Declarations of a Condo or Townhome Association it may be clearly spelled out that either the Owner or Association is the responsible party. Sometimes it’s not so clear.
Usually when situations like this come up, it seems to be when the Declarations state that the Owner is responsible, but the Association has been taking the responsibility anyway. Not so much the other way around, but it may occur if the Association has either fallen apart due to financial reasons, or the management has been negligent in its duty to deal with an increasing amount of deferred maintenance.
Sometimes the Association may have quite a bit of pushback ahead when they proclaim that it’s the Owner’s responsibility to rebuild or build a completely new deck, window, door, etc. Even though the CCRs may state that all Owner Improvements must be pre-approved, if an Owner or two start doing things their way, it can create a mish-mash of design and quality and end up looking like a “hobo village.” And it may be hard to stop them. A lot of heated arguments may ensue along with the arrival of THE ATTORNEYS. Ha!
This sort of situation seems to happen more often in older HOAs than in newer ones with attentive management.
What to do???????
Despite what the Declarations may say, it’s almost always wise for the Association to do what is needed to clearly amend and take responsibility for these issues, whether funding as a new Capital Improvement or a Reserve Fund item. The outcome is general adherence to the quality and conformity that makes the Association attractive and raises the value of the Owners’ units.