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.
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.
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.
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