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Subject: AC replacement
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Author Messages
DianaE
(Colorado)

Posts:40


08/30/2019 6:25 AM  
Our condos are getting new roofs and in the process all unit owners with older AC condensers must pay for a new AC, average price $8000. Some owners want the old unit reinstalled and want to wait till they really need a new one. Others owners have found that this cost is twice what average company charges for similar product. Can board force owner to buy the ACs that they picked, since the ACs are the property of the owner? Can the board refuse to reinstall old condenser after roofing done, if owner does not want to buy new AC.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6632


08/30/2019 8:15 AM  
Just to make sure: Does each owner have their own AC unit in their condo? How old are the personal AC units?

And there is a central HVAC system on the roof?

Dian: "Can the board refuse to reinstall old condenser after roofing done, if owner does not want to buy new AC." Is it the board, or its agendas, who'll install inside the condo?

If the HVAC system on the roofs services all condos, I'd say all personal units must must the same brand & model. They all are interconnected in this system, I imagine. If a different brand would prevent the HVAC systems from functioning properly or shorten its linespan, Yes, the HOA can complete Owners to purchase a certain brand/model.

Owners who believe they're being charged too much should show the board evidence a better price is available. Whatever price they got probably includes installation. And it's probably a good bulk rate.
DianaE
(Colorado)

Posts:40


08/30/2019 8:38 AM  
Each owner has a separate AC condenser on the roof. Some folks had to replace their units awhile ago and they are all different, whatever owner bought. Each condo has a closet containing the coils and "handler".
DianaE
(Colorado)

Posts:40


08/30/2019 8:39 AM  
Also, most of the original ACs are 20 yrs old. For me , replacement is not my issue, but rather the price. I know my AC is old.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2701


08/30/2019 12:23 PM  
Meh – they probably want to wait until they sell, hoping the air conditioner will fall apart afterwards and then it’ll be the new owners’ problem.

It doesn’t make sense to put an old air conditioner with a new roof, especially if most of them are 20 years old. They may be looking at replacement a lot sooner than they’d like, so it would make sense to replace it now. Besides, the new ones might be more energy efficient and those savings could offset the installation.

I agree with Kerry that the air conditioners should be the same if they’re all interconnected anyway, so the homeowners need to make their case to pay for a cheaper one or – help the board do some research to find a contractor who might offer a break on the installation and/or unit if everyone gets it replaced at the same time. A new unit could also help property values (people are ALWAYS obsessed about those).

If people want to be hardheaded about this, then I’d say when you have to replace the unit, you, not the association will also be responsible for all repair costs related to the roofing since those materials would have to be removed and replaced. That, plus the cost of getting a new unit may be enough to convince everyone.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8730


08/30/2019 1:27 PM  
The OP described that each AC unit is individual, not interlinked, owned by each unit owner, and each unit owner is responsible for their own AC maintenance.

While it might be a good idea to use the opportunity of the roof being replaced to replace an AC unit, I feel the BOD is overstepping itself in ordering each owner to so and how/what to do.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:117


08/30/2019 1:49 PM  
I agree 100%. Under the scenario that AC's are the responsibility of the owner, why would the BOD even get involved with this? AC units are for the comfort of the occupant and how good or bad my AC unit is has no impact on anyone else or the community as a whole. In addition, if it hurts my resale value of my condo that's my business.
FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:915


08/30/2019 3:03 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 08/30/2019 1:27 PM
The OP described that each AC unit is individual, not interlinked, owned by each unit owner, and each unit owner is responsible for their own AC maintenance.

While it might be a good idea to use the opportunity of the roof being replaced to replace an AC unit, I feel the BOD is overstepping itself in ordering each owner to so and how/what to do.




Agree totally. Unless there is something very unusual in the documents the HOA has no authority here.

Now when an owner replaces a unit...he would be responsible for any damage to the roof.
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:162


08/30/2019 8:44 PM  
I don't think the HOA can make you replace the the AC units. The problem may be the vendor does not want to be responsible for removing an old unit and reinstalling it. Who would be responsible if the working AC did not work when it was reinstalled? I think the HOA should offer a few options and offer a credit to the people that get a new unit since they will not be paying to have the old unit installed or they could let the people that have old units just have them replaced themselves.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:789


08/31/2019 6:07 AM  
I'm not an AC guy, but I remember reading somewhere that people with older AC units MUST have them replaced if they have the oldest freon and or coolant before R-134.

I Have to agree with the OP and Melissa, 8k seems excessive. You're AC and roofs, are these rooftop units? Crane rentals can be expensive if that's the case.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6632


08/31/2019 8:41 AM  
Now that I know the AC units are independent of any sort of central system (as we have in our condo tower), it would not seem that the HOA can force owners to replace them.

BUT, if like our CC&Rs re: many matters, IF the board feels old AC units are a threat to the new common area roofs, OR to other condos, OR that new ones can improve the lifespan of these roofs, they might have the authority to demand old units be replaced.

IF owners do not have to replace them at the time the roofs are replaced, I'd get the HOA attorney to write a disclaimer for these owners to sign accepting complete responsbility for any issues their AC units might cause to the common areas and/or other condos.

IF many others decide they want to replace them sumultaneously, they should get a bulk rate on installation & maybe purchase. this might encourage those holding a back to buy in with many others.

To LetA's point: How high are the roofs. My sense is not very high. We sure did need a crane to replace the HVAC systems on our 25-story roof! But they are huge. I'd assume individual units could come up the elevators or stairs.
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