G.V. from Tampa, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Is my deck common area if the condo board has not paid me for it? I had it built and payed for it myself.
Mister Condo replies:
G.V., the short answer is “it depends”. What it depends upon is how the agreement worked back when you installed the deck. Typically, decks that are attached to single units are either unit owner-owned or limited common elements. There is no hard and fast rule about this so you will likely need to go back and find the original permission to add the deck and see how it was worded back then. If the original agreement can’t be found, there may be no way to determine what type of addition this was. You can also search your governance documents which may, in fact, spell out who owns a deck attached to a single unit. I would hazard a guess that the deck may be a limited common element that the Board allowed you to install and agree to maintain in perpetuity. If that is the case, it is yours to use and maintain but is, in fact, property of the association, which would matter for liability and insurance purposes. All the best!