Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments we’ll make in our lifetimes. For some of us, that home will be a condominium. One of the perks of owning a condominium is knowing that a portion of the upkeep will be taken care of by the Homeowners Association, or HOA.
As a condo owner, it’s important to understand exactly what you are responsible for and what will be covered by your HOA.
Read on to learn some of the common responsibilities of owners and associations …
First, What Is an HOA?
A homeowners association (HOA) is an organization in a planned community that establishes guidelines for properties and their residents. If you purchase property within an HOA's jurisdiction, you automatically become a member, which also requires you to pay dues known as HOA fees. These fees vary from association to association and are collected to pay for the upkeep of common areas in the community like pools, parking lots, streets and parks – even landscaping and building exteriors.
Each homeowners association should have a board of representatives elected by members of the association. HOA dues are typically paid monthly. Special assessments may be levied for one-time projects in the community.
Remember, homeowners associations are designed to maintain the look and feel of a community. So, in communities with stand-alone homes, they may have standards for home maintenance and guidelines for exterior design and landscaping.
So, Who Is Responsible for Condominium Repairs?
Generally speaking, responsibility is dependent on where the maintenance or repair is located. Condo owners are typically responsible for the interior of the condo or specific to your condo. This includes things like drywall, plumbing and electric, while condo associations are responsible for anything from the siding outward as well as anything to do with the structure of the building – especially if it impacts other units in the building.
Exterior Condo Repairs
Many individuals and families choose condo life because of the many benefits of living in a community with a homeowners association.
In general, you can assume your homeowners association will maintain or repair:
- The structure of the condo
- Trails, walkways and sidewalks (this should include snow removal where applicable)
- Exterior lighting (flood lighting on homes, parking lot lighting, lighting of trails and walkways)
- Pools, hot tubs and other amenities that are shared (this does not apply to your bathroom jacuzzi)
- Cleaning, furnishing and maintenance of clubhouses or association office buildings
- The condo roof, including gutters, shingles and underlayment
- The condo exterior including siding or other exterior treatments
Interior Condo Repairs
Interior condo repairs and maintenance are nearly always the responsibility of the condo owner. In general, this is good news for condo owners because their HOA does not have the right to weigh in on the design or layout of the interior of their condo, so long as it does not negatively impact their neighbors.
Condo owners are typically responsible for the following:
- Upkeep and maintenance of all interior fixtures (lighting, flooring, walls)
- Electrical systems
- Appliances, including washers, dryers, ovens and microwaves
What About Exterior Problems That Leak In?
What if the condo roof leaks? What if the basement floods? While an HOA is typically responsible for repairs to the exterior of the condo (a leaky roof or a cracked foundation), condo owners will be responsible for repairing any damage to the inside of the condo and to their belongings. This means wet, moldy carpet or drywall is on you. It’s incredibly important that condo owners have an insurance policy that will cover them in the event they sustain damage to the interior of their unit.
Who Is Responsible for Balcony Repairs In Condo Associations?
Does the condo you’re eyeing have a deck or a balcony? You should be able to determine who is responsible for the deck or balcony by referencing the association’s guidelines. If all the condominiums in your community have a balcony or deck, it’s likely that routine maintenance and repairs are covered with HOA fees.
It’s rare, but some homeowners associations will allow owners to make certain additions to the exteriors of their condos. This may include raised garden beds, decks or balconies (or things on balconies, like a hot tub!). If the balcony or deck was added by a previous owner, it’s likely your responsibility to maintain.
Choose Rainbow Restoration for Condo Restoration You Can Count On
Whether you are the owner of an individual condo or the president of the HOA, we’re here to help. Your local Rainbow Restoration offers a wide variety of interior and exterior services like carpet cleaning, mold remediation and fire damage mitigation, designed to help you maintain and restore your property.
We make disasters disappear. Call (855) 724-6269 or request an appointment online to get started.
Into outdoor entertaining? If your HOA will allow it, consider a floating deck. Learn how to build a floating deck with help from our friends at Mr. Handyman. Like Rainbow Restoration, Mr. Handyman is a member of the Neighborly® family of trusted home service brands.