Sharper Management


It is important to understand the difference between Limited Common Elements vs Common Elements.  And please note that these will vary significantly by association and how the Governing Documents define and treat them.  A Common Element is typically a space or component that is “shared” by all. Popular examples include roadways, parking lots, condo building hallways and lobby areas, roofs, siding, grass/trees/landscaping, etc.  Typically the association is responsible for maintaining these areas and components with funds collected from regular dues/assessments. Cutting the grass, plowing roads, repairing roof leaks, etc.  Additionally, the association may be responsible for replacing some of these components with funds set aside via the Replacement Reserve.  Common Elements are things that are equally shared. Limited Common Elements, however, are a bit trickier to understand. These are typically areas or components that are exclusively used by a particular homeowner or shared owners; or they may be components located outside of the “unit boundaries.”  Examples include doors, windows, decks, patios, etc.  Another example might be components that not all units have – such as balconies, skylights and chimneys. Limited Common Elements are exclusively used and NOT equally shared. The important thing to realize about Limited Common Elements is that while the responsibility for maintenance and replacement MAY (and not always) be the association’s, the cost could be entirely the homeowner’s. Governing Documents will read differently, but the common theme and practice for an association is that maintenance/replacement of Limited Common Elements may be assessed to the benefiting unit owner, unless said maintenance/replacement is provided to ALL owners. For more information on the topic, and particularly if your association is governed by the Minnesota Common Interest Ownership Act (MCIOA), see the full statutory description of Common and Limited Common Elements at  https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=515b.2-109

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