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Can condo owner remodel and force association to pay for it?

Posted on Fri, Aug 16, 2013 @ 08:36 AM

I recently bought a unit in a condominium. My new neighbor has been remodeling his unit and opened the walls for this purpose. He discovered many issues with the interior and exterior walls and want to get them repaired and have the HOA pay for them. We are talking about a huge amount of money. Can he force the other units to pay for it? I know, I know, depends on what the CCRs say, but what's the case typically?  The amount of money is exorbitant, more than what a modest house would cost, and there are only 3 units in the building. If the other neighbor agrees to do the repairs immediately, would I be forced to pay an amount that I don't even have? None of these projects are urgent, if I have to cheap in, I would like to do it one by one, over time. Theres any law that would protect me against a decision from my neighbors to do a series of large repairs immediately?



The plantiffs claim would be based on if there were discovered problems with common elements. If the plaintiff is making a large claim, then the association should hire a civil/structural/architectural engineer, and get an independent appraisal of the damage/problems the plaintiff is claiming. 
Get a pro opinion, in writing, and have him or her evaluate all the common elements in your small condo association.

posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 9:32 AM by Troy_Built

The other thing to look at is , was the plaintiff, performing authorized construction in the first place.  
Often Condo Associations have language in their documents requiring unit owners to get permission to do any remodeling and construction. If that permission was not sought, then the association should get a court injunction to cease and desist or apply what ever sanctions are in the rules and regs and other documents.

posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 9:35 AM by troy_built

First, interior, non-structure supporting, walls are 100% owner responsibility. 
Second, the interior facing surfaces of the exterior walls are the owner's responsibility. The insulation, studs, and exterior facing surfaces are the HOA responsibility. 
You did not specify the nature of what required repair but based on who owns what, paying to correct interior walls should not be put on the HOA. In addition, if the owner is claiming that the exterior wall has issues because it does not meet code, to bad, as long as the exterior wall met the codes at the time the wall was built. 
Now if we are talking asbestos here, that is a whole different story because the entire building would have to be re-mediated.

posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 10:32 AM by Ron - NC

Lets see, do we know how old the Building is ? 
Was it built to City & State Codes then ? 
How different are the Codes now ? 
Grandfathered in, unless such as removing Supporting Wall Studs, ect. ? 
Did the Owner take out a HOA, City, State Permit for this extensive remodification ? 
Board, at least tell us what State is involved ? 

posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 11:07 AM by James

If there's interior damage inside the walls of his unit, there's a good chance you have the same type of damages. Take a look. He may have to chip in to repair yours as well.

posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 11:13 AM by Bill

All the above remarks need to be investigated. 
If no agreement, let him sue first.  
Avoid lawyers fees to fight him. If the amounts are so high, explore association BANKRUPTCY. Sounds extreme but it can be done in extreme circonstances. 

posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 11:16 AM by RS-FL

I do not live in a condo so I do not know what typically is the resp. of the owner and the resp. of the HOA. However, there is one important fact that the OP must realize. IF the HOA is resp. for the repairs, then all members of the assn. will be resp, to pay their fair share of the cost. If the assn. does not have a reserve account to cover the expense, then a special assessment will be called for and must be voted on by the members. If passed, all the members of the assn. will be assessed and depending upon the decision of the BOD, payment of the assessment will be required to be made by a certain date. This is why it is so important for an HOA to maintain an adequate reserve fund.

posted @ Friday, August 16, 2013 11:24 AM by mary

The short answer is no. Under the limited information given. 
The small condo association can simply refuse, and refute the claim for many possible reasons. 
Then there is legal dissolution and bankrupt 
It sounds as if the original poster is either posing a question for the sake of it, or is very ill advised. Advise (professional), might cost. 

posted @ Sunday, August 18, 2013 11:03 AM by A._Pretty_Good_Lawyer

I imagine that there would be no rush to get the repairs. The only question is what liabilities will risen if the repairs are not done. As long as the repairs can be put off you should be okay in my mind. http://www.multicrafthome.com

posted @ Wednesday, February 12, 2014 9:05 PM by Bob Strong

I agree with you Mary. The association does have the right to refuse this issue. I would recommend getting the asbestos removed as soon as possible though. http://www.brisbaneroof.com.au

posted @ Monday, April 07, 2014 6:11 PM by Bob Strong

It's unlikely that the association was not aware of the potential issue, and especially unlikely that the tenant did not sign any kind of agreement regarding that possibility. So they can't really hold the association responsible. Still, removing it would be a good faith move on their part. It is their building to maintain. Thiago |www.albrechtandson.com

posted @ Tuesday, April 15, 2014 10:51 AM by Thiago

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