Have you looked through your bylaws and any associated amendments to the bylaws?
I am a consulting engineer who is retained by an HOA in Idaho. From time to time they request me to offer professional opinions on interpretation of its CCR's. I don't know enough about your exact situation but you are welcome to email me a copy of your HOA's CCR's and I can give a general review this matter for you.
The wording in the bylaws should be very specific which should give you your answer.
The State of New Hampshire Condo Law Act also shows that state law may address it. In NH unless the association documents specify something different NH state law applies.
You can see the exact phrasing of my association legal documents and NH Condo Act Law at www.wvnorthface.info
. Go to website and then click on menu item 'Northface Bylaws' to see exact wording of both.
I quickly put together this Website, which is currently on a temporary shared server, because my board has had a history of not following it's own bylaws, has delayed and blocked access to documents, and kept owners from speaking about our association windows at our last annual meeting.
I have a similar problem. I live in IL and the CCR's and Dec state the windows are the responsibility of the homeowner. Thats all it says it does not go into detail about trim, flashing etc. The association is responsible for the exterior and exterior maintenance. Again it does not go into items covered. We have many window problems due to installation. Water infiltration being the number one problem. Many homeowners have complained and the association will not touch windows. Not even for inspection. I just did a major repair by the silding glass door where the association contractor came to fix the code violation. There was no flashing under the ledger board and was causing flooding in the window and basement below. They fixed the flashing however broke the seal to the door and did not re caulk or seal the door. It rotted my kitchen floor all the way to the Joyce...I had to replace a 4 foot by 7 inch section and all the trim it had MOLD. There is a window in the basement same problem the wall stays wet from inside out and is now growing mold.
If the Assoc is responsible for the sills, how can one separate them from the windows if that is the only thing that needs repair. The windows are in good condition and operable.
To try to shed some light on your question you could first go to the following to see what is involved with replacing a window sill. I think you would then have to get an estimate of the cost to do the sill replacement. Keep in mind that if other parts of the window also are in need of repair they would have to be addressed. Also, the total cost would have to be weighed against the overall condition and life expectancy of the window as compared to a new window which may have energy savings and other benefits.
and place your mouse cursor over the different parts of the window to see description of window components. To me trim is the exterior and interior trim that bridges and finishes the window with the exterior siding, and in the case of interior, the wall board or other finished wall surface. In other words, to me the trim is often not part of the window unit that you purchase but is the wood or other material made up that attaches to the window and the interior and exterior surface to provide a air and water tight seal and provide a finished appearance.
The Association needs to document what it considers responsibilities in windows when documents are vague. Some boards determine that window trim is part of the window - if there were no window, there would be no trim. Others see window trim as an association responsibility. I have one association that obtained a legal opinion and while they repair or replace trim as needed, if the trim is solid and not in disrepair, the homeowner replacing the window must also pay for repair or replacement of any trim that is affected.
What is often forgotten is that either way, you are paying. You are paying with all of your fellow owners in your dues or you are paying individually.
In regards to the skylights, unless they are on the site plan and are part of original construction, they are a homeowner responsibility. If every unit has a skylight and the documents are silent, they may have a section that states that anything which is on all units but not mentioned is a common element and an association responsibility.
Your management company has to follow board direction, so if the board tells them it is not an association responsibity, their hands are tied. It is often popular to blame the management company. I am biased, though. I work for a management company.
Our By-laws are very clear that windows and doors are the responsibility of the homeowner. Exterior siding and trim ar ethe responsibility of the HOA. The issue of skylights was settled in May 2007 when we got a legal opinion from our attorney that states, "skylights are an intregal part of the roof structure and therefore are the responsibilty of the HOA". Our property manager challenged this opinion in court and the courts ruled that the legal opinion we received from our attorney was accurate. However, our skylights are fixed, in that they do not open. Personally, I don't see the difference because the skylight frame is an intregal part of the roof structure, wether they open or not. I'd be happy to send you a copy of our attorney's legal opinion on skylights.
1-Looking for Marty Morris' attorney's opinion on window sills. 2-If the state has amended rules etc. about condominiums, can your association by-laws be amended to conform without the vote of the condominium owners. ie can the board change existing by-laws without unit owners approval?
The language from our attorney regarding skylights follows:
Regarding skylights, the problem with having them as the owners' responsibility is that they are an integral part of the roof. In order to repair or replace them, someone has to go up onto the roof. In performing those repairs, damage may be caused to the roof, and it is difficult if not impossible to determine who or what is to blame for such damage. In the event of a roof leak, the association will often claim it is coming from the skylight. The owner will claim its coming from the roof. Again, it is often extremely difficult to settle such arguments. Finally, when the association needs to replace the roofs, the installer's and manufacturer's warranties will be void as soon as an owner or his contractor goes up on the roof to fix or replace a skylight. For these reasons, it is my opinion that it is advisable for the association to take responsibility for the maintenance, repair and replacement of skylights in the community.
Let me know if this answers your questions.
Edward M. Taylor, Esq.
366 Veterans Memorial Highway, Suite 1
Commack, NY 11725
Tel. (631) 864-7200
Fax. (631) 543-2271
In our community windows are the responsibility of the unit owner.
Skylights are not so clear.
We have two sloped, fixed skylights in our kitchens that were part of the original design. The HOA is about to replace the roof after 25 years. Many leak and are considered a poor design.
There are no current skylights that will fit the existing openings. The HOA says the unit owners will have to pay to have the roofs rebuilt to fit available skylights or have custom-built skylights installed.
Our condo is in Maryland.