Before trying to schedule a rooftop air conditioning inspection, a condo buyer should first find out who’s responsible for A/C maintenance – the unit owner or the association.

NAPLES, Fla.: Question: I have recently signed an agreement to purchase a condominium unit from an owner in a condominium association. That being said, I would like to inspect the A/C unit for the condominium unit I am purchasing that is located on the condominium association’s roof. What are my rights in terms of accessing the condominium association’s roof? – L.B., Sunrise

Answer: The answer to this question very much depends on the party responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the A/C units. Additionally, for the purpose of this question, I am going to assume that the roof is a common element of the condominium association.

If the roof is a common element, then the condominium association is very likely responsible for not only the maintenance, repair, and replacement, but also access to the roof, absent a provision otherwise in the Declaration of Condominium. Additionally, if we assume that the condominium association is also responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of the A/C units, including for the condominium unit you are agreeing to purchase, then it is likely not required to provide you and/or the current owner access to the roof to inspect the A/C unit as you and/or the current owner are not required or responsible to maintain, repair and replace the A/C unit in the first place.

However, if the opposite is true and an owner is responsible for the maintenance, repair and replacement of the A/C unit that services only his/her condominium unit, then the current owner likely has rights to access the roof in order to fulfill his/her maintenance responsibilities.

The condominium association probably already has procedures for owners to provide notice and to schedule time to access the roof in order to maintain, repair or replace the A/C units. To that end, with the cooperation of the current owner by scheduling time with the condominium association to access the roof, you will be able to inspect the A/C unit.

It is important to actually determine which party is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of the A/C units in this condominium association. As such, I encourage you to speak to your legal counsel regarding a review of the Declaration of Condominium and the Rules and Regulations in order to determine the extent of the current owner’s and your legal rights.

S. Kyla Thomson Esq., is a partner of the law firm Goede, DeBoest & Cross. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The publication of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and Goede, DeBoest & Cross, or any of our attorneys. Readers should not act or refrain from acting based upon the information contained in this article without first contacting an attorney, if you have questions about any of the issues raised herein. The hiring of an attorney is a decision that should not be based solely on advertisements or this column.

© 2021 Journal Media Group

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