D.T. from Barnstable County, Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Condo association with 12 individual units. My neighbor wants to add a deck to her unit. The Trustee is saying she has to get permission from the abutting owners. Common area is in between all units. In my research I can only find that she needs a 75% vote from the other owners. I would love to hear your expertise on this. Much thanks!
Mister Condo replies:
D.T., Cape Cod greetings! I miss my old stomping grounds! Your association CC&Rs and by-laws likely detail the requirements for any exterior modification of units in your small condominium association. I am sure common space is at a premium and I would imagine significant agreement amongst owners is required before any such modification can be made. Since I don’t have a copy of your governing documents to review, my advice is to look at those documents and see exactly what is required. Abutting unit owner approval is likely only one of several steps required. The Board will most certainly have a say in the process and will likely have the right to accept or reject any proposed plan. The long-term care and maintenance of the deck must also be addressed. It will likely be a limited common element as it will be for the exclusive use of the owner but it will require care and maintenance for a lifetime. The question is who will pay for its care and eventual replacement. Once all of these questions are answered and the necessary permissions are denied or granted, the final decision can be made. I hope that help. Good luck!