Architectural Compliance Board Condominium Governance Insurance Legal

Hot Tub Responsibility Concerns Condo Board

C.G. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

We have a unit owner who wants to install a hot tub on her enclosed back porch! If we allow this as a board, do we accept any liability for it? Do we have to carry it under our insurance, or does the owner have full responsibility? Thank you!

Mister Condo replies:

C.G., in my experience, hot tubs are sticky subjects in condominiums for the very reasons you have mentioned. Just because the back porch is enclosed, that doesn’t mean it is part of the unit. If it is a limited common element (likely), the Board can deny the request. If the Board approves the request, it should consult with an attorney to make sure that the wording of the approval makes it perfectly clear that installation, maintenance, insurance from damages and removal are all specifically at the owner’s expense. Because of all of these caveats, it is far more common for the Board to simply deny the request. There is an exception, of course. If there are other hot tubs in units or if the documents state that unit owners may do what they wish inside of their enclosed porch or if the unit owner actually owns the back porch, there may be little the Board can do to prevent the hot tub installation. Unless it is clearly allowed in the documents, my advice would be to deny the hot tub. All the best!

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