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Subject: CCIOA vs Covenants vs City/State
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Author Messages
CathyB7
(Colorado)

Posts:5


05/01/2021 1:47 PM  
We have less than 100 units, follow the CCIOA (Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act) and have subsequent Covenants to further define. Both CCIOA and our covenants state basically if you own 2 or more units, the Owner may remove all or part of non-structural walls to allow free access between.. Our covenants state an ACC form be submitted and all state and local permits are required. The problem - we had an owner use a handyman to install a door between 2 units. The BOD sent a violation and explained there was no ACC request and it was not permitted as local law states. A lot of back and forth (5 months worth!). The owner has now received a permit, however, must remove the current door and install 2 fireproof doors within 'x' specifications. Owner has finally submitted an ACC request along with approved blueprints and permit. The ACC committee wants to deny the request stating they don't want anyone doing this! And, they don't want insurance cost to rise. I contacted the insurance company and as long as it is permitted and approved, we are good and it will not affect our insurance. Since our covenants state this can be done (upon proper approvals), I don't think we can legally deny. The pushback from others is the City can't dictate what can and cannot be done just by issuing a permit. I agree, however, we need to abide by our covenants. Although the owner did not follow the process in the beginning, (for which they are being fined and having to pay attorney fees) they have now.

Has anyone else had this type of situation? If so, how was it handled. I'm at my wits end answer the 'what if' questions. What if they move? what if both doors are open? Who owns the doors? etc. Thoughts are really appreciated. This is causing dissention between the board and a few homeowners.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10944


05/01/2021 2:09 PM  
Posted By CathyB7 on 05/01/2021 1:47 PM
We have less than 100 units, follow the CCIOA (Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act) and have subsequent Covenants to further define. Both CCIOA and our covenants state basically if you own 2 or more units, the Owner may remove all or part of non-structural walls to allow free access between.. Our covenants state an ACC form be submitted and all state and local permits are required. The problem - we had an owner use a handyman to install a door between 2 units. The BOD sent a violation and explained there was no ACC request and it was not permitted as local law states. A lot of back and forth (5 months worth!). The owner has now received a permit, however, must remove the current door and install 2 fireproof doors within 'x' specifications. Owner has finally submitted an ACC request along with approved blueprints and permit. The ACC committee wants to deny the request stating they don't want anyone doing this! And, they don't want insurance cost to rise. I contacted the insurance company and as long as it is permitted and approved, we are good and it will not affect our insurance. Since our covenants state this can be done (upon proper approvals), I don't think we can legally deny. The pushback from others is the City can't dictate what can and cannot be done just by issuing a permit. I agree, however, we need to abide by our covenants. Although the owner did not follow the process in the beginning, (for which they are being fined and having to pay attorney fees) they have now.

Has anyone else had this type of situation? If so, how was it handled. I'm at my wits end answer the 'what if' questions. What if they move? what if both doors are open? Who owns the doors? etc. Thoughts are really appreciated. This is causing dissention between the board and a few homeowners.




Cathy

1. Your Covenants allow such to be done.
2. The owner did not submit an ACC request. He has since done so.
3. The owner did not follow City procedure but has corrected those problems.
4. The ACC concerns about insurance, according to you, are not warranted.
4. What happens when either unit is sold will be up to the buyer and the seller, not your ACC nor BOD.

How many pounds of flesh does your ACC want? Also the BOD can overrule the ACC.

Deny me such and I would haul someone's ass to court.
CathyB7
(Colorado)

Posts:5


05/01/2021 3:54 PM  
Thanks for the support. trying to get these people to understand that the board and more importantly the covenants override their personal opinions. Not sure if anyone else has had an owner create a walk through between 2 owned units.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8015


05/01/2021 4:28 PM  
We're a high rise and like yours, Cathy, our CC&Rs permit owners to own contiguous units and create access between them. The Section is our CC&Rs is "Combined units."

Of our 200+ condos, about 7 have done this. The owner of the two units owns the passage door between them that they created. With JohnC, the owners having now gotten permits and will install firedoors, your Boards cannot deny approval (or your ARC). Are you on the Board??

What I don't grasp is WHERE are these doors? Do they go from a unit to the hallway? Or from one formerly separate unit to their other unit? I'm not getting the question who owns the doors? The owner of the 2 (or more?) units do.

Our condo doors to the common area hallways are owners to maintain EXCEPT that the exterior will be painted/refinished by the HOA and they are in our reserve study. Who owns doors to the common ares probably is spelled out in your CC&Rs.

Why is anyone worried about insurance??
AugustinD


Posts:301


05/01/2021 5:07 PM  
I too lived in a condo once where the CC&Rs permitted an owner of two side-by-side units to install a door between the two units, using proper municipal permitting and licensed contractors. The condo association required that the owners restore the units to their original condition prior to sale, possibly per the condo's governing documents.

Like JohnC46 and KerryL1, I do not see a reason to deny this at this point. Yes these owners were rude and slovenly about this, but ultimately, it appears they are complying with the covenants.
CathyB7
(Colorado)

Posts:5


05/01/2021 6:54 PM  
thanks to all for you insight. This gives me wonderful responses to the continued questions. I seem to be the only person on our BOD that is responding and trying to resolve this dilemma. The others are like 'crickets' which is a whole different issue! The pass through is between the 2 garages so it's not even within the actual living space of the home. the doors are there so the owner and her son can just pass back and forth without going out in the weather. I did suggest to the ACC and other board members, when the request is approved (which it will be), we put a stipulation that it needs to be 'permitted and back to original' if/when one units are sold. The owner said she asked the City and they told her no it didn't, however, I responded that the City approved the permit and the permit doesn't stipulate it has be be 'back to original'. However, they don't have control of our HOA so we absolutely CAN make this request.

I really do appreciate the insight you have all given me. I'm ready for the ACC, the other board members and the rest of the community.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8015


05/02/2021 9:06 AM  
Thanks, Cathy. I now understand that the door simply connects two garages. Now, though, we have new questions. Is a garage the owners' separate interest? Or are the garages exclusive use (limited use) common areas? Or even common area? If either of the latter two, imo, the HOA certainly does have the authority to specify that the door must be removed upon transfer of title to the condo.

Do you covenants clearly specify that joining two units with a door also referee to garages and not just the condos themselves?
CathyB7
(Colorado)

Posts:5


05/02/2021 9:41 AM  
The garages are considered part of the owners individual air space as defined in our covenants. They are the exclusive use of the owner and not part of a common or limited common area. Our covenants state "..if two or more Individual Air Spaces are owned by the same Owner, such Owner may remove all or part of the non-structural interior walls, ceilings or floors separating such Individual Air Spaces so as to allow free access between such Individual Air Spaces."
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