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Subject: Need Help: Vent in the window
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Author Messages
JoyceH4
(New Jersey)

Posts:6


09/06/2017 4:09 PM  
Port imperial, new Jersey, regulated by HOA.

i live in a townhouse, I installed a vent in my window, and the management came to me said "It has come to Management’s attention that you have a vent in the window. This is not allowed in the Community. Unit Owners cannot make or allow to be made any structural modifications or alterations in or to their unit." However, I saw a couple units had vent on the exterior wall (they broke the wall to install the vent). I didn't even break the window. In this case, how should I appeal? I heard one of the unit owned by the president of the condo association. Isn't this unfair?? Please help with ideas. Thanks
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14854


09/06/2017 4:18 PM  
1) You should have requested permission prior to installation. That requirement is likely within your governing documents.

2) Request a meeting with the Board or Architectural Committee (whomever approves changes) and ask permission citing the vents through the wall as approvals for other units to make exterior changes.
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:434


09/06/2017 4:56 PM  
Definitely get a meeting planned, as already suggested. The window vent is not "structural" at all. You did not change the structural integrity of the building nor the window. So, if they were quoting the CC&R's, and you are quoting them, they are wrong.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


09/06/2017 5:50 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 09/06/2017 4:18 PM
1) You should have requested permission prior to installation. That requirement is likely within your governing documents.

2) Request a meeting with the Board or Architectural Committee (whomever approves changes) and ask permission citing the vents through the wall as approvals for other units to make exterior changes.


Excellent advice as usual from Tim . Yes it potentially is unfair ... and which you can point out during the meeting you request. Please do not ignore and be the one to step up and request a meeting. This will make you appear to be the one on the good side. Keep records and notes of all meetings and conversations (dates, times, what was discussed, etc.) and even ask for a letter after your meeting confirming any decision as anything in writing is best. Keep in mind however, that sometimes an HOA can get caught up in having to allow some things for some units, due to ADA or other Federal Laws for those disabled. So note whether any of those units with vents have individuals with any needs. If not then they should not have special privileges ... especially any Board member.
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:770


09/06/2017 7:02 PM  
Can you clarify what a "vent in the window" actually is?
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:215


09/06/2017 8:36 PM  
A window is not a structural part of the unit
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


09/06/2017 9:10 PM  
Posted By MarkM31 on 09/06/2017 8:36 PM
A window is not a structural part of the unit


Potentially depends on your CCR's and State Laws ... However, I can see where you might be going with this thought. But, we do not know what the OP's CCR's state on the issue for our personal opinion.

JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


09/06/2017 9:16 PM  
Posted By DaveD3 on 09/06/2017 7:02 PM
Can you clarify what a "vent in the window" actually is?



Dave ... Since no response in while to your question ... It is potentially something similar to this ... which fits into the window width and the top of the window closes down against: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Bionaire-Thin-Window-Fan-with-Comfort-Control-Thermostat-BWF0522M/23422686
JoyceH4
(New Jersey)

Posts:6


09/06/2017 9:25 PM  
https://vent-works.com/products/window-dryer-vent
It's something like this, but I used Transparent acrylic so it looks like window from outside.
JoyceH4
(New Jersey)

Posts:6


09/06/2017 9:26 PM  
https://vent-works.com/products/window-dryer-vent
It's something like this, but I used Transparent acrylic so it looks like window from outside.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3642


09/06/2017 10:04 PM  
Did you install to run a dryer?
GeorgeR8
(Arizona)

Posts:138


09/07/2017 3:44 AM  
Posted By DouglasM6 on 09/06/2017 4:56 PM
Definitely get a meeting planned, as already suggested. The window vent is not "structural" at all. You did not change the structural integrity of the building nor the window. So, if they were quoting the CC&R's, and you are quoting them, they are wrong.



It is an alteration.

Anything that changes the outside appearance would probably need written permission.

I tell my people as soon as they move in that just because someone else has it doesn't mean you can. A simple phone call would have prevented this. They would have been told if they could, couldn't, the procedure to follow if they could, etc.
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:770


09/07/2017 4:53 AM  
I don't know that I would call it an alteration.

What specific rule is being broken?
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:893


09/07/2017 5:39 AM  
Posted By DaveD3 on 09/07/2017 4:53 AM
I don't know that I would call it an alteration.

What specific rule is being broken?


We really don't know because all we've seen is one small snippet of their governing docs. There are very likely more restrictions than the one in the OP.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7007


09/07/2017 6:56 AM  
Posted By GeorgeR8 on 09/07/2017 3:44 AM
Posted By DouglasM6 on 09/06/2017 4:56 PM
Definitely get a meeting planned, as already suggested. The window vent is not "structural" at all. You did not change the structural integrity of the building nor the window. So, if they were quoting the CC&R's, and you are quoting them, they are wrong.



It is an alteration.

Anything that changes the outside appearance would probably need written permission.

I tell my people as soon as they move in that just because someone else has it doesn't mean you can. A simple phone call would have prevented this. They would have been told if they could, couldn't, the procedure to follow if they could, etc.




I agree with George. It is an external alteration which probably needed approval. Also just because others have something, it does not mean all can have it.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7007


09/07/2017 6:57 AM  
Our docs specifically state window AC units, fans, vents, etc are not allowed.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4374


09/07/2017 7:51 AM  
Our CC&Rs, too, are like JohnC's & others--no changes to the windows are permitted--mainly for aesthetic reasons.
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:434


09/07/2017 9:15 AM  
Posted By GeorgeR8 on 09/07/2017 3:44 AM
Posted By DouglasM6 on 09/06/2017 4:56 PM
Definitely get a meeting planned, as already suggested. The window vent is not "structural" at all. You did not change the structural integrity of the building nor the window. So, if they were quoting the CC&R's, and you are quoting them, they are wrong.



It is an alteration.

Anything that changes the outside appearance would probably need written permission.

I tell my people as soon as they move in that just because someone else has it doesn't mean you can. A simple phone call would have prevented this. They would have been told if they could, couldn't, the procedure to follow if they could, etc.




We are all making assumptions as to what the OP's docs actually say. I'm basing my assumptions on what the OP states the letter of violation said:

"It has come to Management’s attention that you have a vent in the window. This is not allowed in the Community. Unit Owners cannot make or allow to be made any structural modifications or alterations in or to their unit."

It will not hold up in court if their letter is based on their CC&R's. If there is a section in their docs that says "no alterations without approval...." then maybe. But this, so far, is clearly overreaching on the part of the HOA. If they don't want window vents, they better change their documents, fast!
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:770


09/07/2017 11:46 AM  
Agreed Douglas. Far too much speculation.

If the document is exactly as stated in the OP's post, then no, it's not an alteration as that text specifically deals with 'STRUCTURAL modifications or alterations"

Sticking a vent in a window is certainly not a structural change, so more info is needed before jumping to conclusions.
JoyceH4
(New Jersey)

Posts:6


09/07/2017 1:20 PM  
no, It's range hood.
JoyceH4
(New Jersey)

Posts:6


09/07/2017 1:58 PM  
Upon request, they send me the following today,

"Unit owners cannot make or allow to be made any structural modifications or alterations in or to their unit without the prior written consent of the Association or its duly authorized representative appointed in accordance with its bylaws.
Unit owners must not install any individually owned plantings in common elements or limited common elements without the prior written approval of the board of trustees.
Unit owners must not erect or have erected any fence, partition, wall, divider or similar structure interior or exterior of the Unit including doors, windows or skylights or any Common elements without the prior written approval of the Board or its representatives. Unit owners must not install storm or screen doors unless they conform to the styles and colors approved by the board.
Unit owners must not permit anything to be hung, displayed or placed on the outside walls, doors, or windows of any building whether or not common elements, except in accordance with association rules and regulations."
JoyceH4
(New Jersey)

Posts:6


09/07/2017 1:58 PM  
Upon request, they send me the following today,

"Unit owners cannot make or allow to be made any structural modifications or alterations in or to their unit without the prior written consent of the Association or its duly authorized representative appointed in accordance with its bylaws.
Unit owners must not install any individually owned plantings in common elements or limited common elements without the prior written approval of the board of trustees.
Unit owners must not erect or have erected any fence, partition, wall, divider or similar structure interior or exterior of the Unit including doors, windows or skylights or any Common elements without the prior written approval of the Board or its representatives. Unit owners must not install storm or screen doors unless they conform to the styles and colors approved by the board.
Unit owners must not permit anything to be hung, displayed or placed on the outside walls, doors, or windows of any building whether or not common elements, except in accordance with association rules and regulations."
PitA


Posts:0


09/07/2017 3:11 PM  
As per the OP's link:

WARNING
Do not install in a window above pedestrian pathway.



Unit owners must not permit anything to be hung, displayed or placed on the outside walls, doors, or windows of any building whether or not common elements, except in accordance with association rules and regulations.



The vent is, in fact, a violation.
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:434


09/07/2017 3:22 PM  
Now that I've seen the verbiage, I have to agree. It's a violation.
DaveD3
(Michigan)

Posts:770


09/07/2017 6:49 PM  
depends on what is or is not in accordance with the rules and regulations
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:4374


09/09/2017 4:33 PM  
I agree--it's a violation.
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