Monday, January 17, 2011

Skylights at Condo Homes in California

What happens with condo homes and skylights where there is a homeowners association in California? 

skylights at condo homes 

QUESTION:  Is the skylight in a condominium considered part of the roof?  Is it an association repair or a homeowner repair?

ANSWER: It depends on who installed it and what your governing documents require.

Original Construction. If the skylight is part of the development's original construction, it is part of the common area roof and is the association's responsibility to repair and maintain unless your CC&Rs state otherwise.  Sometimes CC&Rs specifically assign skylight maintenance to the unit owner. 

Owner Addition.  If the skylight was installed without association approval, the owner could be forced to remove it.  If an owner installed the skylight with association approval, typically the owner agrees to repair and maintain the skylight. Where this becomes a problem is with subsequent owners when it starts leaking.  The subsequent owner will argue that he did not install the skylight and will point to the CC&Rs that the association is responsible for maintaining the roofs. HOA law in California

Covenant to Maintain.  To avoid disputes related to owner-installed skylights, we record a covenant signed by the owner at the time the skylight is installed.  The covenant makes the owner and all subsequent owners responsible for repairing and maintaining the skylight. If the owner refuses to sign the covenant, installation of the skylight is not approved.

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Source: Adrian J. Adams, Esq., Adams Kessler PLC, DavisStirling.com, Los Angeles, CA.  This is for information only regarding California homeowner associations and is not providing of legal or tax services. 

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