S.C. from Charlevoix County, Michigan writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
One of our co-owners placed an A/C unit in a Common area when instructed not to. What should our next steps be?
Mister Condo replies:
S.C., that is unfortunate. The use of common areas is clearly outlined in your governing documents and I am sure that this homeowner has made a costly mistake. The association should send the homeowner a letter instructing him that he has violated the rules of the association and that the air conditioner must be removed from common area immediately. If he complies, no problem. If he does not comply, you might want to engage an attorney as a lawsuit should follow. I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column. My guess is that the attorney would instruct the association to sue the homeowner and get injunctive relief against the homeowner to remove the air conditioner. Again, if he complies, no problem. If not, the association may have to remove the air conditioner. All of the expense of the attorney, court costs, air conditioner removal and any fines or other expenses caused by this faulty air conditioner installation would be billed to the homeowner. Hopefully, he will comply after the first letter is sent. Otherwise, this will be a costly battle for the association and the homeowner, with the homeowner ultimately picking up the entire tab. Good luck!