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CCOC Decision Summary

#219, Eckard v. Montgomery Century Condominium #219 (April 19, 1995) (Panel: Axelson, Auvil, Burstyn)

Several condominium owners filed complaints against the condominium association for chronic water leaks into their units which damaged the units.  The association had not performed any engineering studies to determine the causes of the leaks.  Several unit owners had replaced their windows or recaulked them in an effort to halt the leaks and the association some window caulking as well.  At the hearing, the owners presented testimony of one owner, who was also a building contractor, to the effect that the leaks originated in the joints between the balconies (which were limited common elements) and the exterior walls (which were common elements).  The association presented no expert witness on its behalf.

The hearing panel found that the windows were the responsibility of the unit owners to maintain and repair, but that the "material attaching the windows to the brick facade" was the association's responsibility to maintain in good condition.  The panel also found that the exterior window sills were not part of the windows but were part of the common elements which the association must maintain.  However, the panel found that the windows were not the primary cause of the water leaks.  The panel found that the leaks appeared to originate from the common elements and not from the units themselves.

The panel found that the association failed its duty to maintain the common elements in good condition and to prevent water leaks.  The panel ordered the association to hire an qualified expert to determine the causes of the leaks  The panel further ordered the association to begin soliciting bids for the necessary repairs within 30 days of receiving the consultant's report.  The panel ordered the association to make all repairs to the common elements out of the general funds and to inform its members that they were not liable for such repairs unless repairs had to be made to the windows themselves in order to stop leaks through the windows.

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