One of the condo plans in our condo complex has an outside flight of stairs (part of the common area) leading to the unit. The stairs in this plan lead only to one unit and are not used by anyone other than the owner. One owner installed an electric chair lift on the stairs because he is elderly and cannot safely manage the stairs. He installed this without submitting an Architecture Request form, which is required for any common area addition or change. My question: Is there a liability form that the HOA should have the owner sign so that the HOA cannot be sued if he fell off the chair lift or it was installed improperly and caused some damage to the common area? Also the HOA wants to ensure that the owner or his heirs will remove the chair lift, at their expense, when the owner passes away.
1 Answer from Attorneys
I would be harsh on this as the guy obviously knew he needed to communicate with the HOA before having the lift installed. I'd send him a demand to remove the unit, and use that as leverage to get it inspected and have him sign an indemnification, etc. He's not going to do any of that without you twisting his arm.