Condo owners generally have a pretty easy gig when it comes to home maintenance and condo shades. Responsibilities vary from building to building, of course. Still, when compared to the laundry list of items that single-family-homeowners are tasked with regularly, condo owners have a pretty sweet deal!
That said, there are some condo property maintenance responsibilities that fall to owners to take care of – and you might find yourself surprised at where the line is drawn between what the condo board and your condo management company addresses, and what owners are expected to handle.
A Rundown of Responsibilities
While owning a condo unit usually excuses you from having to get your hands dirty when it comes to maintenance and upkeep, there are certain obligations that you’ll still be on the hook for. Most of these come in the form of common property controls that may exist within your unit: things like water valves, fan coils, zone controls, and thermostats. If you don’t quite know what a “water valve” is (never mind where it might exist within your unit), don’t worry, there are resources you can consult to get up to speed. Take a quick look at your set of condo documents to get a rundown on each item you’re responsible for maintaining and upkeeping.
It’s essential to have at least a cursory knowledge of this list of responsibilities because if something goes haywire and needs replacing, guess who’s on the hook to take care of finding and paying for a fix? That’s right: you, the owner. The way these details are handled will ultimately vary from board to board and management company to management company. Still, generally speaking, the buck will stop at you one way or another, so it’s best to be knowledgeable and keep up with the conversation along the way.
You Don’t Own These Things – But You’re Still Responsible for Them!
In addition to these in-unit concerns, there are also several items, fixtures, and spaces within your building that you don’t have any claim of ownership to at all, but for which you’re still answerable when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. Some examples of these responsibilities might include:
- Balconies And Decks: More often than not, condo ownership doesn’t extend out to the balcony attached to your unit as it’s usually included within the scope of the building envelope, but you can bet that it’s up to you to keep it properly maintained.
- Common-Use Patios: This is a bit more of a grey area, but often, owners are responsible for the upkeep of common-use outdoor spaces such as patios, balconies, and pavilions. Not sure where your building stands on the matter? Your condo bylaws should help clear things up.
- Parking Spaces: Unless your stall is titled, you don’t have an official ownership claim to your parking space. That said, if your vehicle happens to leak a bunch of oil all over the concrete, you could easily be charged with the tedious, time-consuming clean-up that results.
There are a few things condo owners need to keep up-to-snuff on, but so long as you take the time to familiarize yourself with the details we’ve described in this blog, you’ll be well ahead of the game.
If you’ve got further questions or concerns about your responsibilities as a condo owner, feel free to reach out to us at Catalyst Condo Management today, and we’ll be happy to help you sort out what you need to keep an eye on.