M.M. from Hartford County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am a homeowner in an HOA of single-family homes. The Association provides trash pickup, electricity, landscaping and snow plowing in my HOA monthly dues. The Association does not have a watering system installed. who is responsible to water the limited and common areas around our houses?
Mister Condo replies:
M.M., irrigation of common areas is typically the responsibility of the owner of the common area, i.e. the association in the case of common areas. However, limited common areas can be handled a few different ways. Your governance documents may or may not detail that responsibility which is what is causing the confusion for you. Let’s face it, over time, water bills can add up and I am sure that curb appeal of the property would plummet if the lawns and other greenery went unattended to. Sprinkler systems are typical in condos and HOAs because they handle the task quite well. However, they are expensive to install and maintain and many associations just don’t see the value so they leave the watering up to the individual owners, which may be perfectly allowable but probably isn’t the best strategy for maintaining a great-looking community. Check your documents and see if the responsibility is outlined. If not, petition your Board to install and maintain a commercial grade sprinkler system. It may be expensive and require an increase to monthly dues but, over time, it will yield the best results and put the responsibility of keeping the community in its best condition where it belongs, on the association itself. All the best!