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Who is responsible for repairs to my townhome's back deck?

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Category: Ask The Expert Q&A
Created on Tuesday, 20 September 2011 Written by Lauren Peddinghaus

Q.  I live in a townhouse and I'm connected to other units... same roof...adjoining walls.  My back balcony is private. It has a wooden deck, iron railings, and is supported by a post from the ground up (with a light on top). The railings are connected to the sides of the house and the post.

Everyone has the same balcony and the light must always be on.  Our master document states that the Association is responsible for the exterior of our homes.  The Association Rules and Regulations (an interpretation) said we are responsible for maintaining our decks.  I interpret deck to mean the floor boards (staining, etc).  The Property Management is now saying I am responsible for the deck floor, railings,and the support post and light. They expect me to raise my deck and totally install a new post... including staining, etc.  I feels that this is structural and an external part of my unit that should be fixed by the Association.  I don't know what to do! The post is totally rotted; my balcony is unsafe; and they won't fix it.

A. Decks and balconies can often pose major questions for unit owners.  Without looking at the specific association documents here, it is impossible for me to say one way or another who bears the responsibility for the maintenance and repair of these balconies.  Generally, though, balconies and deck systems that are part of the exterior of a complex, especially when those decks and balconies adjoin or share support systems with other balconies, are often the responsibility of

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