We are often asked by Boards of Directors to assist them in determining the maintenance, repair and replacement responsibilities for certain components in their Association when the provisions in their governing documents are ambiguous about such responsibilities or are absent altogether.
First we need to distinguish the difference between ownership of common elements in a condominium association and ownership of common areas in a homeowners association. In a condominium association each unit is owned individually and the common elements are owned jointly in common with all of the unit owners. In a homeowners association each lot is owned individually, but the common areas are owned by the Association (not by the lot owners). To make it more challenging sometimes condominium units appear to be small lots. We realize these are subtle differences, but it is important for purposes of this discussion.