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CCOC Decision Summary

Jacobson v. Sligo Station Condominium (December 1, 2015) (Panel: Stevens, Cromwell, Fishbein)

The unit owner challenged a board decision to repaint all the lintels, balcony supports, and safety railings on the building and to pay for the work out of the common funds. She claimed that the items were limited common elements, and the cost of repainting such items should be paid by the owners of the units to which they were attached. The governing documents did not define limited common elements so clearly as to include such items. Approximately 2/3rds of the units had safety railings.

The hearing panel held that lintels (metal bars supporting the brickwork above doors and windows), and the supports for the balconies, were structural items and therefore were common elements. However, the railings were limited common elements. The railings were attached to the walls of the building in front of sliding glass doors. There were no balconies in front of such doors. The purpose of the railings was to prevent residents from falling out of the doors. The railings were not structural components but instead served only the residents of the units to which they were attached. Therefore, the unit owners involved should pay for the costs of repainting their railings.

Since the Condo had already paid the painter, the panel ordered the Condo to ascertain the cost of repainting the railings separately from the rest of the work and to bill the affected unit owners for reimbursement of their share of that cost.

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