P.C. from Tarrant County, Texas writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can a condo association discontinue exterior repairs at will? Is the board (as representative of the co-owners) responsible for all exterior maintenance and repairs, including A/C units?
Mister Condo replies:
P.C., the answer lies in your governing documents. I suspect that the Board is responsible for all exterior maintenance on all units as part of the agreement between unit owners and the association when they buy into the association. The association is a corporation and the unit owners are shareholders in that corporation. There are covenant and regulations that describe the relationship between the two and who is responsible for what is typically spelled out clearly. The unit owners are assessed common fees and/or special assessments as needed so that the association has the money it needs to function. If the association has run out of money to continue fulfilling its duties, i.e. maintaining the building exteriors, they probably need an infusion of capital to pay for the work. That capital will come from unit owners in the form of a special assessment or increased common fees to service an HOA loan. Either way, the association needs to honor its obligation to maintain the unit exteriors or they are in default of the agreement and risk being sued by unit owners, adding insult to injury as now money will be needed to repair the building and defend against a lawsuit. Check you documents and make sure you know what the duties of each of the parties are. Encourage your Board to do the right thing (even if raising fees or issuing a Special Assessment is the unpopular thing) and maintain the buildings. In the long run, everyone benefits. Good luck!