S.J. from Middlesex County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I replaced all of the windows in my townhouse condo last year. This cost me a lot of money but the original windows were 25 years old and were not energy efficient. Some even had a slight haze to them. I just got a letter from the management company telling me that I needed to get permission BEFORE I had the windows installed. The letter says I may need to remove the new windows and replace them with windows approved by the association. That will cost a fortune. HELP!
Mister Condo replies:
S.J., I am so sorry to hear about your predicament. It looks like you are going to be learning about architectural compliance the hard way. For better or for worse, almost all condominium communities require approval for all work done to units by outside contractors. I am sure this is clearly spelled out in your condo documents. The association has this clause in place to protect itself from individual unit owners changing the general appearance of the building exteriors, which would create a non-uniform look and a maintenance nightmare. My advice to you is to write a nice letter to the Board that acknowledges their complaint but explains your action and willingness to remedy the situation. Ask if you can meet with the Board at their next scheduled meeting to work on a plan that either gets your windows approved by the Board or allows you some flexibility in bringing your windows back into compliance. You may not like the outcome but it is definitely in your best interest to observe the condo’s rules about architectural compliance.