Des Plaines, IL asked in Products Liability and Real Estate Law for Illinois

Q: HOA Building (balcony) maintenance

Hopefully, you're all safe at this time. I have a question regarding who is responsible for paying for the maintenance cost in the buildings? For Example, we own the condo but the balcony ( which is what people use to enter their house) needs to ger repair on the second floor all over the units in the building because it is going to collapse in the future. If all the homeowners pay monthly HOA fees, who is responsible for this repair?

The association are saying that every unit is going to pay for this repair and I don't think we have to pay for the repair.

2 Lawyer Answers
Robert Shipley
Robert Shipley
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: You should review the Condo Declaration which should define the limited common elements.

The Act provides that the Association shall be responsible to maintain, repair and/or replace the common elements on the property. As the limited common elements are defined under the Act as a portion of the common elements, it is the Association’s responsibility to maintain, repair and replace the limited common elements. Although the Association may have the responsibility to maintain the limited common elements, it does not necessarily require the cost must be paid from the common expenses of the Association. The Act provides that the Board may assess the costs related to the maintenance, repair and replacement of the limited common elements back to those owners who have use of the amenities, provided the Declaration provides for such assessment.

Based on this, if your Declaration states that it shall be an owner’s responsibility to maintain, repair and/or replace the limited common elements serving their units, or if it states that the Association may assess the costs of the maintenance, repair and/or replacement back to the unit owners who benefit by such work, the Board may undertake the project and assess the costs back to the unit owners. These amounts should be applied to the owner’s account and remain on the owner’s account until paid in full.

So while it’s likely your responsibility, you should still review the Declaration.

Drew Ball
Drew Ball
Answered
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: It depends on the setup of the balcony, as well as the exact language used in your condo decelerations and bylaws. But if it is a shared common balcony where there is essentially only one or two sets of walk up stairs for all unit owners and an open walkway on each level accessible to all units - without a specific area blocked off or designated just for your condo's use - then it would be considered a common element. If you have a specific area designated on the balcony just for your unit then it is likely a limited common element unless otherwise defined in your HOA decs and bylaws. “Limited Common Elements” are defined by the Act to mean a portion of the common elements so designated in the declaration as being reserved for the use of a certain unit or units to the exclusion of other units.."

Ultimately, you are going to be paying for the repairs one way or another. Either the HOA will use your monthly HOA fees/reserve funds (although this will be cheaper) to pay for the repairs or by having to pay out of pocket for all repairs. Review your HOA decs and bylaws and consult an attorney if you have further questions. Stay safe and healthy, I wish you the best.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.