When you live in an association it is important to verify if you will need Board approval prior to starting projects on your home. With Spring coming the most common projects homeowners will want to do is installing new windows or doors, putting up a fence, or planting flowers and shrubs. Each association is different and will have certain rules in place regarding what types of modifications a homeowner can make with or without approval.
Typically, if approval is required, you will need to submit an Architectural Change Form for the Board to review. However, this may not be all you will need to provide in order to get approval. You may need to submit pictures of the new items you are installing, a Plat of Survey (which can be obtained from the county), a proposal from your contractor and their certificate of insurance, a drawing showing the requested modification, and sometimes even a village permit. When getting ready to tackle your project make sure you contact your management company to verify what will be needed for your project and you should also call your town’s village hall to verify if a permit will be needed. You should also refer to your associations governing documents for any rules regarding your modification.
The Board will not be able to review your request until all the proper documentation has been received and the approval process may take a while to be completed, as the Board may not review your request until the next Board Meeting. Once all the required documentation is gathered by you, it should be sent to the management company for the Property Manager to present to the Board for review and acceptance. When living in an association it is important to remember these rules are put in place to maintain uniformity and protect property values. Failure to comply with modification rules can result in fines, attorney fees, or chargebacks for the cost of removing the unapproved modifications. Remember, it is better to ask what is involved up-front, before investing your money and time in any repair, modification or upgrade.