Q&A: Allowing Access for Repairs?

Q Last month a minor flood occurred in the unit above me, due to a clogged pipe. The above unit that was affected wants the pipe replaced. The problem is that the only way to gain access to this broken pipe is through my unit. I objected to the work, and now the association board is threatening to sue me for not allowing them access. What are my rights, and what can I do to make this go away? Should I just allow them access and move on with my life?

—Worried in Winnetka

A “In Illinois, this unit owner must grant access to the association to allow the association to repair this common element pipe blockage problem,” states Attorney Steven D. Welhouse, a partner at The Sterling Law Office in Chicago. “This is an emergent situation and the condominium’s declaration and bylaws probably grant the association the right to access any unit for the purpose of making emergent repairs in order to prevent further damage to the common elements of the building.”