Owners Doing Work On Their Unit May Affect The Association

When townhome or condominium owners do work inside or outside of their unit, it could impact the AssociationSome issues that need to be discussed and addressed if they will affect the Association are:

1.         Will it adversely affect building systems? Example: might water overflow to another unit?

2.         Cosmetic issues: will it affect the exterior? Set standards for style, materials, etc.

3.         Mechanic lien issues and claims which could be brought against the Association as a result of the work.

4.         Insurance issues: should contractors have insurance?

5.         Noise, inconvenience, mess, dust, and debris disposal may cause problems for neighbors.

6.         Costs may be incurred to supervise the work.

7.         Is all future maintenance and repair to be at the owner's expense?  If so, a written and recorded agreement may be needed to protect the Association. 

8.         Environmental issues. Example: asbestos removal by an owner in a pre-1980 building could force evacuation of the building's residents.

Legal Tip:  Most governing documents require owners to get approval if they plan on doing work that will affect the Association.