B.C. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condos are in four blocks; the first two built have elevators, second two don’t but we all have to share in costs. Are the elevators “common elements” or can we as owners without elevators do something about this?
Mister Condo replies:
B.C., pardon the pun, but there are always “ups and downs” with condo elevators. In your case, I am afraid that having to share in the common expense of an elevator that isn’t in your building but is a part of the community’s common elements is a real downer. Back when the condo was created the developer decided to install an elevator into two of the four buildings. Once the association took over control of the property from the developer they inherited all of the common elements and they became part and parcel of all future unit owners within the association. I suppose it could be argued that the elevators in the first two buildings are limited common elements in so much as they only benefit the unit owners on the floors above the first floor in those buildings. However, rewriting your condo documents to state such would require a super majority of unit owners to vote in favor of such a change and for the condo documents to be amended (at a fair expense to all unit owners). My guess is that such a measure would never pass but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask. Certainly all of the unit owners who do use the elevator would vote against it. They are on the “up” side of this transaction, if you’ll pardon a second pun. All the best!