Re: Exterior Maintenance in Condo Coho
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Wed, 4 Feb 2015 13:35:09 -0800 (PST)
> On Feb 4, 2015, at 1:27 PM, Susan Adams <sadams430 [at]> wrote:
> If your community is a condo association we are interested in how you have
> handled maintenance of the exterior of the individual homes

There are several reasons why the association will want to maintain everything 
on the exterior of units:

1. In most condominiums where units share an exterior envelope the unit owners 
only own from the inside wall in. Their ownership stops at the plasterboard or 
the paint. Asking to have maintenance from a company on  your walls or deck 
when you don't own it is problematic. Many won't work on anything unless the 
owner (the association) hires them.

2. Uniformity. You want the look of the place to meet certain standards -- low 
or high -- they should be shared by all the members of the association.

3. Some home owners won't maintain their property according to whatever 
standard is set. They won't get around to it or will think it is silly. It's 
easier to do it as an association than to argue, or for members to grouse 
around about it for years and years.

4. Over all costs. It's less expensive to maintain 1 large property than to 
maintain 34 small properties. And much less hassle. You sign one contract for 
painting, not 34. If you have standards for the exterior but the owner has to 
execute them, the board or maintenance team will have to review all those 
contracts. And how do you maintain one roof on three houses? What if one 
objects to the cost? Or thinks it isn't needed? And the other person has water 
damage because of it.

5. It is common practice for the association to maintain the exteriors. Going 
against the tide will not be worth the effort unless it's an ethical or moral 

The above assumes you are not a lot development model in which people own their 
own homes.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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