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Ask Attyadvisor Your Own Question
Attyadvisor, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 5544
Experience:  28 years of experience in general practice, real estate law and estate law.
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I live in a condo association. My neighbor next door wants

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I live in a condo association. My neighbor next door wants to replace his back windows with a sliding glass door and she has asked us all to vote on this. I am concerned about the structural impact this work might have on the building overall, any insurance issues that may arise, vetting the contractors that do this work, and to a much lesser extent, the general fact that this unit will thus look different from the rest. Also, down the road, if we need to replace all the windows, if this work to this one unit is approved, does the association then have to pay for the doors too that are custom to this unit? How do I respond to this request? And what does the board need to do to deal with this request?
Welcome and thank you for your question. I am an Illinois licensed Attorney and it will be my pleasure to assist you.

Do your bylaws consider the windows a common area element or are windows and their replacement the duty of the owner?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Limited Common Elements are defined as follows: "Means a portion of the Common Elements which shall be reserved for the use of a certain Unit or Units to the exclusion of others including the perimeter walls, ceilings, windows, floors, sliding balcony doors, if any, balconies, if any..." etc etc. Does the answer the question?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

More..."By the unit owner" says "Except as otherwise provided herein and in Paragraph (1) above, each unit owner shall furnish and be responsible for, at his own expense, all of the maintenance, repairs and replacements within his own unit and of the doors and outside windows and frames and screens appurtenant thereto..."

Thank you for the clarification.

Based on the bylaws, the association would never be responsible for replacement or repair of the windows or sliding glass doors. The homeowners insurance would need to maintain coverage for the windows and doors.

The issue is whether the board will allow a modification to this individual unit owner’s property. Aside from the approval the association would have no other liability or responsibility.

Please do not hesitate to ask me any additional questions that you may have with regard to this matter. It would be my pleasure to continue to assist you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

If the board does decide that the owner can remove part of the brick wall to install the sliding glass doors, and the work causes problems to other units, whose responsibility is it?

The unit owner would need to hire a licensed and bonded contractor that would be responsible with the owner for any structural damages. The Association should require the ability to vet the contractor and require a bond or insurance policy for the construction work.
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Thank you.

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