Tuesday Topic 2019-28                                                   August 13, 2019

Improper Renovations Put Owners and the Association in Jeopardy

Owners making modifications to their unit must complete the Request for Modifications form.  This form is available on The Summit website or from the office staff.

A number of owners are making renovations to their units which is a good thing, however, changes made without seeking approval from the board of directors goes against the Declaration of Condominium documents.

E (1) (c) Alteration and Improvement:  Neither any apartment owner nor the Association shall make any alteration in the portions of any apartment building that are to be maintained by the association, or remove any portion of such, or make any additions to them, or do anything that would jeopardize the safety or soundness of the apartment building…without first obtaining approval in writing of owners of all apartments in which such work is to be done and the approval of the Board of Directors of the Association. The Association may require that a copy of plans of all such work prepared by an architect licensed to practice in this state shall be filed with the Association prior to the start of work.  

Owners making modifications to their unit must complete the Request for Modifications form.  This form is available on The Summit website or from the office staff.

The purpose of seeking approval is to prevent improper material alterations which impact the common walls, the support structure, the plumbing and drainage system, electrical wiring, and common duct work.  These types of modifications leave us vulnerable to violations and fines, put owners, the SOA and the building in jeopardy.

Many owners have skills and are good at do it yourself projects but plumbing and electrical work is to be done or ‘certified’ by a licensed plumber or electrician. We have been made aware of an owner moving the main water shut off valve within his apartment. This is not an approved alteration. The plumbing is a common element. Maintenance must know where the shut off valves are should they need to shut off water in an apartment.

The board and other owners are happy that owners are updating and upgrading their properties. It must be done the right way, by requesting permission and not doing work in the common walls without proper authorization.

The Condensation Basin Roof Drain was backing up. We identified continually running soapy water coming into the condensation roof drain.  This seems to indicate that owners have diverted flow of water from normal plumbing lines into the condensation line which runs from the hot water heater.  This has occurred when owners have added additional shower without prior approval of plans by the board of directors.  This is not to code. We can be fined by the EPA for discharging grey water into a public area.

Our attorney has confirmed when an owner makes material alterations which go into the ‘common wall’ and there is a leak or other problem in these Common Components that have been modified by an owner, it is considered a Material Alteration, and that owner would be solely responsible for the consequences of any issues. This includes issues relating to replaced or added showers, and the improper installation of washer/dryers because plumbing or wiring is in a common wall.   

Please submit your Request for Modifications Form to the General Manager before beginning any renovations.