Q: The windows in my condomini um unit have become fogged up because the insulated glass has Zabellost its' seal. I want the condominium to replace the windows with new glass panels, but the board tells me it's my responsi bility. Are they right?
A: The first thing you need to do is read your condo- minium's legal documents to see what maintenance responsibilities are yours and which ones are the condominium's.
Most, but not all, documents state that with the exception of the exterior painting of windows, all other maintenance to the windows is the responsibility of the individual unit owner(s).
Q: Our condominium doesn't make repairs to the outside of the buildings and grounds when they are needed. We have very reasonable monthly fees, and the board says they don't have any money and they don't want to raise the assessments. What can those of us owners who want to see the property properly maintained do?
A: Your condominium's board of managers has a fiduciary duty to maintain the buildings and grounds in a manner that protects the owners' investment, plus provides a safe and habitable dwelling.
The board is doing a grave injustice to all the owners of your condominium by budgeting improperly to reflect the true operational cost of your community. No one likes to see higher monthly assessment fees, but the "savings" that your board thinks it is giving to the owners each month in reduced assessment payments, is most likely being lost several times over the reduced resale value of the units.
I would suggest that you offer your help to the board by volunteering to serve on the budget committee. If the board will not accept your help, consider placing your name in nomination for a seat on the board at the next annual election.
Edward Zabel, Jr. is vice president of Sibley Real Estate Services, Inc. Readers who have question about condominium living should send them to: Edward Zabel, P.O. Box 100, East Amherst, NY 14051.