V.H. from Massachusetts writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
If our half of the roof is bad and needs replaced must our neighbor do the same?
Mister Condo replies:
V.H., as you may have noticed, I get many questions from owners of particularly small associations like yours. When there are two owners making up the association, problems like yours can occur all too often. It is uncommon that nay money is saved in reserve so when a repair is needed, like your roof, owners that do not agree on spending money become a huge problem. It isn’t that your documents don’t address the issue but the fact that the other owner either doesn’t have or is unwilling to spend the money to repair the roof. All you can do is work with your neighbor to coax them into agreeing that the roof needs to be repaired and that the two of you should pay for it as agreed to in the condo docs. However, if the second owner doesn’t have the money, all the agreement in the world isn’t going to pay for that roof, leaving you with the decision as to whether or not you wish to remain living in the condo knowing the roof is likely to fail. You can sue the other owner or bring them to arbitration. You may be able to finance the roof jointly with the other owner but understand that you may be liable for the whole thing if your neighbor defaults. It is an unpleasant reality of living in such a small association. You might wish to seek a legal opinion to back up my advice but, at the end of the day, you can’t draw blood from a stone. The money will have to come from somewhere and that somewhere may be your bank account. All the best!