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Court Rules Decks are not Part of Common Area

Burns v. Moorland Farm Condominium Association, No. NC-2007-0610,
R.I. Super. Ct., Aug. 27, 2010.

The Rhode Island Supreme Court recently ruled that decks appurtenant to condominium units were not considered common areas where the decks were for the exclusive use and enjoyment of the individual condo owners. 
The condo association levied special assessments of over $900,000 to repair decks in Phase I of the development over the course of three years.  Owners in all three phases of the development were required to pay the special assessments, but only Phase I owners received a benefit from the deck repair.
The court analyzed the association’s declaration and found that an “outside deck” is listed as an allowable feature in the “Code of Features.”  Furthermore, there is no mention of decks or porches in the common area section of the declaration nor are they specified as “limited common areas”.  Almost every deck is accessible only through the adjoining unit and only owners and invited guests may use the decks.
Based on the court’s finding that the decks were the responsibility of the individual condo owners, the association was required to refund the special assessments levied against Phase II and III owners.
This site and any information contained herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  Seek a competent attorney for advice on any legal matter.

Authors: Ryan McCabe

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