M.L. from Ohio writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
In Ohio, can a Condo Board restrict me as a Unit Owner from installing a Tankless Water Heater?
Mister Condo replies:
M.L., the short answer is they probably can but not for the reasons you might think. Architectural Compliance is the purview of the Board, meaning they can deny any installation that changes the exterior of your building. Most tankless water heaters will require a modification of the exhaust system on the outside of your building. If the Board doesn’t want to allow that change, the matter is closed and the tankless hot water system cannot be installed. It is also possible, although unlikely, that the association has rules about the types of hot water tanks that can and can’t be installed. Again, what the rules say goes. I am not aware of any Ohio laws that give you additional protection in the matter but you may want to speak with a locally qualified attorney (I am not one) to get a legal opinion on the matter as well. One final thought: you might want to petition the Board as to the virtues of tankless hot water systems (fuel efficiency, long life, tend not to flood unit if they fail) and see if they would consider allowing them for ALL unit owners, not just you. You might find that there is enough demand from fellow unit owners to install these tankless heaters and the Board may be swayed by the number of enthusiastic owners wanting to enjoy tankless water heaters. Good luck!