E.P. from Hartford County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our 17-year-old condo association in made up of stand-alone Units of which about 10 have 3-season porches installed on concrete slabs. During heavy rain or rain with high winds there is leakage on several Units at base of the porches and around the windows. We are working with the Unit Owners to better seal around the windows and at the base. However, due to the design of these porches it is likely that no matter what preventative measures we take there is likely to be some leaks. The Association is responsible for leakage on roofs or windows in the main Unit. However, as these 3-season porches are not designed for year-round living nor included in the “living area” for assessment purposes and are listed as “UEP Porch (Encl)(Unfinished)”, are they really considered to part of the main Unit, and therefore the responsibility of the Association?
Mister Condo replies:
E.P., that is a great question. It really depends on who owns the porches. Just because they are for limited common use (limited to the owner of the unit with the porch attached) doesn’t preclude the porches being association property. The association does have a duty to protect the commonly owned buildings. If they are being damaged by association-owned elements then that would have to mitigate the flooding being caused. However, if the porches are owned by the individual unit owners, it may be their responsibility to mitigate the flood conditions and resulting damage to association property. It is a sticky wicket and one that may be worthy of getting a legal opinion on before any action is taken by the association. The association’s attorney should have no problem rendering a legal opinion based on the association’s governing documents. All the best!