Q&A: Office Space for Manager

Q My condo's board recently approved a plan to provide an office for our property manager. Since the building did not have a space for an office, they want to put up walls in one of our common areas, so the property manager has a place to work. I understand the property manager needs an on-site place to work, but it will shrink our club room considerably, which I assume was part of the price tag of my unit. Will this decrease unit values if the common area is compromised? Is it legal for the board to approve something like that?

—Legally Speaking

A “It is axiomatic that an association in New Jersey is governed by the Condominium Law NJSA 46:8B-1, et. seq. ('the Act') along with the governing documents of the condominium,” say partner Bruce Gudin and Anne Ward, attorneys at the law firm of Ehrlich, Petriello, Gudin & Plaza in Newark.

“As such, the association, and board acting on its behalf, must act in a manner consistent with the Act and the governing documents. The Act (46:8B-3(d)) defines 'Common Element,' in pertinent part, as:

“(ii) as to any improvement, the foundations, structural and bearing parts, supports, main walls, roofs, basements, halls, corridors, lobbies, stairways, elevators, entrances, exits and other means of access, excluding any specifically reserved or limited to a particular unit or group of units;

“(iv) portions of the land or any improvements or appurtenance reserved exclusively for the management, operation or maintenance of the common elements or of the condominium property;

“(vii) all other elements of any improvements necessary or convenient to the existence, management, operation, maintenance and safety of the condominium property or normally in common use;

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