J.M. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can a Florida condo NOT permit you to go on your section of roof to maintain and fix your own owned HVAC system? This condo is located in Pasco County. The HVAC packaged rooftop is unit owned and was owner installed. We have permit and receipt. Association refuses to maintain HVAC , which is fine, BUT they prevent homeowner from accessing roof to do own maintenance and repair. LET me restate: only contractors can access roof of condo: Doesn’t this rule have to be in the bylaws? There is NO state licensing in Florida to work on one’s own HVAC or county licensing only EPA 608 cert to use refrigerant and buy refrigerant. So again, how can an association prevent me from going on my OWN ROOF?
Mister Condo replies:
J.M., thank you for your question. I can sense your frustration with what seems to be a common sense approach to repairing and maintaining your own Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system. However, I do see at least one flaw in your reasoning that you may not have considered and that is that the roof over your unit is not your own roof unless otherwise specified in the by-laws. Generally speaking, the condominium roof is a common element and is maintained and owned by the association, who also has liability for any injuries that occur while someone is performing work on the roof or anything attached to the roof, like your HVAC unit. While I understand there may be no licensing required to work on your HVAC, a contractor would have general licensing and, more importantly, their own insurance, to protect the association in the event of an injury. I am neither an attorney nor an expert is Florida community association law so you may wish to check with a locally qualified attorney if you require a full legal opinion on this matter. However, my guess is that in a state like Florida with the numerous air conditioning systems in place, you would have no problem finding a qualified and experienced HVAC contractor to perform the work required at a reasonable rate. You’ll have a tuned HVAC unit and the association will not have the liability of having an owner possible fall from their roof and sue the association. All the best!