By: Elina B. Gilbert, Esq.
As we move through the winter months, many owners are already anticipating the exterior home improvements they want to make in the spring. For most covenant controlled communities, exterior modifications require prior association approval upon submittal of an architectural request form. But do your forms contain all the necessary provisions to adequately protect the association and ensure compliance?
Below is a list of important provisions that well-written architectural request forms should contain:
- An acknowledgement that prior written approval must be received by the applicant before any building or construction can commence.
- A provision specifically indicating and acknowledging that association/committee approval does not constitute municipal/county building department approval, and applicants are solely responsible for compliance with all such municipal requirements.
- An acknowledgement that failure to comply with all association requirements pertaining to architectural modifications will result in withdrawal of approval and a demand that the property be brought back to its original condition.
- A provision specifically stating that architectural approval is not a guarantee of structural safety or engineering soundness, and applicants are solely responsible for contracting with the appropriate parties to ensure proper design and engineering soundness.
- An acknowledgement that applicants are responsible for any damages caused by their contractors to common elements or other units.
- A provision specifying that applicant will not make any improvements not specified in the application without prior written approval from the board or committee.
- A provision requiring applicant to notify the committee/board immediately after completion of the improvement, and authority for the committee/board to enter onto property to inspect the improvement.
- In the case of communities where associations have the exterior maintenance obligations, a provision must be added specifically indicating that the applicant/owner will take on the additional maintenance/insurance obligations for the improvement; this provision should further specify that the document will be recorded to ensure all future owners are aware of, and bound by, this obligation.
- A provision in which applicant agrees to comply with any association request to enter the property for purposes of determining if improvement is being constructed in accordance with the approval plan and in compliance with the covenants and guidelines.
- A provision specifying the timeframe within which the project must be commenced and completed, as well as a statement that failure to comply with the timeline shall result in withdrawal of approval unless an extension is requested and approved in writing.
Please do not hesitate to contact an Altitude Community Law attorney at 303.432.9999 if you have any additional questions concerning your architectural request forms and/or the approval process.