C.K. from Fairfield County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Garage doors need to be replaced at my condo. Is it possible for each unit owner to pay for their own garage door? Two owners have no garages and the townhouse owners are being asked to pay more than double what the single owners have to pay. Since each unit only has one door (except for the two owners), is this a fair assessment?
Mister Condo replies:
C.K., the short answer is “it depends”. What it depends upon is the governing documents describing the common elements and limited common elements of the condominium. If the garage doors are considered common to the association, then the association (meaning every unit owner) pays for the garage doors. If the garage doors are listed as limited common elements or owned by the unit owner, then either the limited parties (those in the building with the garage doors) or the unit owner would be liable for the cost. It is also possible that the association documents are unclear on the garage door ownership, which means the Board may be open to interpretation on how to pay for the doors. If that is the case, it is not unusual for those who feel the distribution of the cost is unfair to seek remedy in the form of a lawsuit against the association. Bottom line is that you will need to look carefully at your condo documents to see who should pay for the doors. Good Luck!