G.E. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I have had window film on my East facing bedroom windows for over 6 years. Two weeks ago I received a letter from the property management asking me to remove it. At the same time, the management company has approved a neighbor’s 8-foot awning with stadium lights. How can that even come close to being fair?
Mister Condo replies:
G.E., the issues you are describing are both about architectural compliance. It isn’t a question of fairness as much as it is a question of due procedure. Let’s start with your window film. I assume you installed this film to cut down on intense sun on your East facing window. Does you association have rules about such film? Did you ever ask permission to install the film before you installed it? Most associations have strict rules about what can and can’t be done with windows. I know of some associations that even dictate the type and color of blinds that can be used as window treatments. This may seem extreme or unfair but it is done so to keep uniformity within the community. Since you are being asked to remove the window film, I have to assume that you never asked for permission to install it and that it is not in compliance with the general architectural guidelines for the community. Rules about such things are generally found in your condominium documents.
As for your neighbor’s new awning with stadium lights, I assume that this product is not in violation of any community guidelines or your neighbor was granted permission from the Board to go ahead and install the awning. As long as the Board has approved the installation or it is allowable under the guidelines, I don’t see where there is a problem. I am sure that you or any other resident is also free to do the same now that the precedent has been established. Sounds fair to me.
The bottom line is that interpreting and enforcing the community’s architectural compliance standards falls to the Board, and, in some part, to the Property Manager conducting the Board’s business. If you wish to petition the Board to keep your window film, I encourage you to do so. However, if they feel the window film is out of compliance, don’t be surprised if they stick with their current position. All the best to you, G.E.!