A.R. from Michigan writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My detached condo in Oakland County, MI is one of 188 units. Repairs are made by the condo for exterior walls, roofs, decks/railings. Maintenance and upkeep are required by the unit owner. My two-story deck in-ground corner support beams have wood rot/carpenter ant damage. The sprinklers on the common areas have not been positioned properly, causing the problem. I bought the condo “as is” this winter. Should the association be responsible for the replacement cost since their sprinklers were not adjusted? There was a sick, elderly person living in this unit for the past several years, so requests were not made for adjustments of sprinklers.
Mister Condo replies:
A.R., that is an excellent question. As you know I am not an attorney. Being from Connecticut I claim no expertise in Michigan Condominium law. However, I was able to reach out to one of my friends who does practice community association law in your state. Here is what this noted attorney had to offer:
“The answer depends on the language of the Condominium Documents. In most site condos, a co-owner would have the responsibility to maintain and repair a deck. Many documents also contain an incidental damage clause, which limits the Association’s liability to $500-$1000, for any damage caused by the general common elements. However, if the responsibility has been assigned to the association, the association would be responsible for the repair.”
That sounds like good advice to me A.R.. For further clarification, I have to recommend that you seek out a local attorney to guide you through the process. It may cost a little upfront for that advice but my guess is that it could be priceless in the long run. All the best!