22 Mar 2016

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility Part 2 of 4

Posted by Orlando HOA Services


Last time we learned about the importance of referring back to the CC&Rs to help sort out different liabilities. Take a deep breath and hang tight because we will keep going back to basics and help you get all the mumbo jumbo sorted out. This time we will look at the differences between Common Areas and Exclusive Use Common Areas.

How to Determine Common Areas and Exclusive Use Common Areas

How do you figure out what is common area, what is exclusive use common area and what is a separate interest? First, look at your documents. If that doesn’t help, review Civil Code Sections 4075-4190.

Civil Code Section 4185 provides that a separate interest in a condominium is a unit as described with detailed boundaries in the condominium plan (Civil Code Section 4125). In a planned unit development, a separate interest means “a separately owned lot, parcel, area or space.”

Civil Code Section 4185 goes on to say, “Unless the declaration or condominium plan, if any exists, otherwise provides, if walls, floors or ceilings are designated as boundaries of a separate interest, the interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors, ceilings, windows, doors, and outlets located within the separate interest are part of the separate interest and any other portions of the walls, floors, or ceilings are part of the common area.”

Thus the surfaces of walls, floors, etc., are separate interest but, unless the documents say something else, the sheetrock, subfloor, etc., are common area.

Learn more about designating maintenance responsibility for condominiums and planned unit developments

Another very helpful provision is found in Civil Code Section 4145, which defines exclusive use common area as follows: “A portion of the common areas designated by the declaration for the exclusive use of one or more, but fewer than all, of the owners of the separate interests and which is or will be appurtenant to the separate interest or interests. Unless the declaration otherwise provides, any shutters, awnings, window boxes, doorsteps, stoops, porches, balconies, patios, exterior doors, door frames, and hardware incident thereto, screens and windows or other fixtures designed to serve a single separate interest, but located outside the boundaries of the separate interest, are exclusive use common areas allocated exclusively to that separate interest” (emphasis added).

The bottom line is that unless the CC&Rs say something else, the owners are responsible to maintain  the exclusive use common area and unless the CC&Rs say something different, the items listed in  Civil Code Section 4145 are all exclusive use common areas.

– See more at: http://www.echo-ca.org/article/how-determine-maintenance-responsibility-hoas#sthash.sApAlfRF.dpuf


Do you need an expert to keep your self-managed condominium association fiscally healthy? Orlando HOA Services can help you set up good financial practices that will keep your association financially strong well into the future. Contact us at JR@Orlando-HOA.com or check out our website at www.Orlando-HOA.com.


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