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Q&A: Altered Without Consent

Altered Without Consent

Q I am writing to you regarding an issue that I have in my condominium. A few years ago, our board undertook extensive roof repairs to fix leaks and various deficiencies. However, when the work was completed and the dust settled, we, owners of roof units on top of the repaired roof discovered that the balcony partition’s designs were altered without our prior knowledge and consent to a much less pleasing design. On the opposite deck space, some partitions made of fabric were damaged during construction and never replaced. How do we get this resolved to everyone's satisfaction? What is our recourse under the law? Can you quote articles of law which could help us?

—Maintenance Matters

A “The association is generally responsible for the maintenance and repair of common elements, including limited common elements, in the condominium building,” says Steven D. Welhouse, an attorney at The Sterling Law Office in Chicago. “The common elements and limited common elements are defined in the condominium documents, including the declaration and bylaws.

“The association’s and the unit owners’ respective obligations to maintain and repair common elements and units will also be set forth in the condominium documents. To the extent that the balcony partitions indicated in the questions are common elements or limited common elements that lie within the association’s maintenance and repair responsibilities, the association is responsible to pay for maintenance and repair of the partitions.

“If the repairs were not carried out properly by a contractor and damage was caused to other partitions, the association should seek recourse directly from the repair contractor. If the association fails to do this, the unit owners may have a claim against the Board of Directors for breach of its fiduciary duty to the association to properly maintain and repair the property.”

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