Window won’t open. Who is responsible?

R.G. writes:

Dear Paul:

I live in a ground floor unit of an older condo building. The sliding window in the living room is very difficult to open. I suspect that it is caused by the building shifting. Who is responsible to fix the window so that it opens correctly?

Paul Replies:

Dear R.G.:

This can be frustrating when you want to get some fresh air into your suite. While a shifting building could be the cause of the problem, I would suspect that other unit owners would also experience some issue with windows or doors. Have you asked your neighbours if they have noticed similar problems? There may also be something wrong with the window frame itself> Being old, it could have warped over the years. The weather may have an effect on the product used to manufacture the window causing it to expand and contract. In any event, you need to check your condo documents (Declaration, Bylaws) to determine if there is any mention of responsibility for windows. If the documents are silent on the matter I would think that windows are part of the outside envelope of the condo, and as such, unless otherwise stated it would be considered common element. I encourage you to write a letter to your property manager to have the window repaired. Be aware that some condo developments will only replace windows as part of an overall renovation project for the entire building. If you decided to replace the window yourself, which could be quite expensive, you will need board approval, and the new window would have to conform with the style and look of the building. Good luck. 

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Rick G

    Thanks Paul T. . I will write our condo board with our concern and ask them to repair it and see where that goes.

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