J.D. from Broward County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our A/C unit on the roof was hit by lightning! The city said get it fixed and get a permit. We did, however prior to getting the permit the A/C man tried 3 times to get into our building to strap down the unit. The condo refused him access because a committee said we need the permit first. The bylaws do not state that we must have a permit and that we are totally responsible for the unit (we are ok with that). Can a committee overrule the bylaws? I believe the condo is creating a Safety issue by not letting the A/C man strap down the unit until the permit is granted.
Mister Condo replies:
J.D., I am sorry that you’re A/C was struck by lightning and I am glad no one was hurt. Committees are appointed, not elected. They cannot make or overrule bylaws. However, that doesn’t mean they are powerless and as long as they have the support of the Board they can interpret and enforce the rules as they see fit. You are free to challenge those rules by appealing to the Board. My guess is that the Board will support the Committee’s decision but you do have the right to question their actions and their authority. My question back to you would be to what end? You needed the permit. The association needed your vendor to have the permit to perform the repair. Perhaps there was some miscommunication as to what work the repairman was going to do and that is why the committee denied him access without the permit. Since this is a “one and done” situation, my advice is to write to the Board and explain what happened and ask for clarification under what circumstances can a repairman be allowed roof access. That should suffice in case something similar happens again. All the best!