One of the homeowners put huge potted plants on his balcony. If water
eventually weakens the
balcony, who is
responsible for repairing it?
: The structural elements of the balcony are almost
always the responsibility of the association to maintain. The only
I've seen is when the balcony is added to the building by the unit owner
the association's permission). When that happens, we require the owner
to sign a
recordable covenant that makes him/her responsible for the repair and
the balcony structure.
When it comes to the
balcony surface, your governing documents control (assuming they address
issue). If the association is responsible for waterproofing the surface,
the board should make sure it keeps everything waterproofed. More often
governing documents are
unclear or silent on the issue of deck maintenance. In that case, the
Davis-Stirling Act resolves
the ambiguity by stating that "Unless otherwise provided in the
[CC&Rs] . . .
the owner of each separate interest is responsible for maintaining . . .
exclusive use common area appurtenant
to the separate interest. (Civ.
That means owners are responsible for maintaining their balcony's
surface (which is the norm for most associations).
If an owner tiles
the balcony deck or fails to properly maintain the
this leads to damage of the balcony's structure, the association could
owner responsible for the damage. Normally, there are provisions in the
that allow associations to charge an owner for the cost of repairing
caused by their negligence. If the CC&Rs are silent, the
allows boards to impose reimbursement special assessments in the form of
monetary charge and to collect it through lien and foreclosure (provided
authority to impose a lien is in the governing documents). (Civ. Code §5725
Boards should adopt reasonable rules restricting planters
and other activities that can damage balconies.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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