Q&A: Replacing Windows

Q. We own two apartments in our condominium in New Jersey. We moved in 2005 and were told by the board that our windows needed to be replaced because the building had water issues. The board recommended the company to use. We complied, and the window expense for the first unit totaled $5,400. In 2013 we purchased a second two-bedroom apartment and immediately replaced the windows. This was $3,500, bringing our total expenditure to $8,900.

Now we have a new board. The majority now sees fit to change and update the window requirements. Many owners never complied years ago, and I think it is imperative for this to happen. However, there are those of us who did replace windows at a considerable expense.

I have no water issues, and do not want to incur this expense again. One of the arguments given for the window replacement is to update the look of the building. Also the window model being considered is more costly. I am being threatened with penalties if I do not replace my windows. Our governing documents state that owners are responsible for their windows. I gave this as an argument and was told the bylaws can be changed. Wouldn’t I be grandfathered if this is accomplished? This has become a strain on many of us.

                        —Exasperated Owners

A. “First things first,” says attorney Robert C. Griffin of the firm Griffin Alexander, which has offices in New Jersey and New York. “A review of your governing documents is in order. There is a high degree of likelihood that the answer will lie in the master deed to your association. Since I do not have your master deed, this response by necessity is generic.

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