Does your community have a detailed written procedure for physical alterations (inside units and within Limited Common Elements) that goes beyond a general statement about requiring Board approval? If not, this page is a great place to start. Please find below a detailed set of requirements and procedural elements that you may consider adopting. Most or all of this language would be appropriate to include in your Declaration.
Notice & General Guidelines. Owners must notify the Association in writing no less than forty-eight (48) hours in advance for any alterations or improvements that may potentially create scheduling considerations such as use of an elevator, excessive or prolonged noise or vibrations, the movement of extraordinarily sized items through any Common Element, or the use of vehicles that may need to occupy Post Alley for loading and/or unloading.
Construction equipment and materials must enter and exit the property through the garage/hallway doors on Level 2. If entering through the South Tower and using an elevator, only the elevator that has been properly prepared with padding can be used.
Contractor access for disruptive work that creates excessive noise, vibration and/or that requires significant amounts of material to move through Common Elements is only permitted between the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday. All moving of materials and clean up must be finished by 5:00 PM when all workers must exit the property.
Contractor access for work that does not create the conditions listed above can also be performed on Saturdays between the hours of 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Code Compliance. Any maintenance, repair, replacement and alteration activity within a Unit or Common Element (including the Limited Common Elements) must comply with all applicable laws, codes and ordinances and must obtain all permits and inspections of the same and must be performed with due diligence and in a respectable and workmanlike manner in accordance with standard construction practices. Applicable government resources such as the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) and various King County offices will be the final authority for all government-mandated requirements.
Contractor Insurance. All contractors and vendors who perform services that require prior approval on the Parc-Belltown premises must be appropriately licensed for their scope of work in Seattle and carry a minimum of $1MM general liability insurance per incident, with no exclusions for work on condominiums. Owners must provide proof that their vendor’s have insurance, and that there are no exclusions for work on condominiums or for the work they will perform at Parc-Belltown.
Maintenance and Alteration of Limited Common Elements. Unit Owners shall keep the Limited Common Elements (LCEs) allocated to their respective Units in a neat and clean condition and may, at any time and without obtaining Board approval, alter the cosmetic appearance of Decks, Planters, Roof Areas and Terraces by implementing updates and improvements of a non-permanent nature that are not intended as appurtenances including furniture, greenscaping, and hardscaping in accordance with such rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Association and in accordance with this Declaration. See Section 10.3.3 for signage requirements.
Permanent cosmetic alterations (e.g. applying paint to surfaces, etc.), infrastructure alterations (updating surface material, enlarging or decreasing areas demarcated for greenscaping and/or hardscaping, etc.), the addition of appurtenances, and any other alterations that may materially impact the Association’s ability to perform maintenance may be made with prior approval of the Board of Directors as outlined in Section 11.18.4 and its subsections.
Reasonable Use of Units. No Unit Owner shall overload the electrical wiring in the buildings, or operate any machines, appliances, accessories or equipment in such manner as to cause, in the judgment of the Board of Directors, an unreasonable disturbance to others. No Owner shall connect any machines, appliances, accessories or equipment to the heating, or air-conditioning system or plumbing system, without the prior written consent of the Board of Directors or Managing Agent. This is not intended to limit an Owner’s right or ability to replace light fixtures, faucets, shower heads, or other components that do not require permits, and are not likely to impact the building systems or result in any damage to the property.
Alterations of Units. Subject to the provisions of the declaration and other provisions of law, a Unit Owner may make any improvements or alterations to the Owner's Unit that do not affect the Common Elements, structural integrity, acoustical characteristics, or mechanical or electrical systems of the property or lessen the support of any portion of the condominium. Owners must notify the Board of any improvement to their Unit with a value greater than $10,000, to ensure that adequate insurance can be obtained;
Unit Alterations – No Approval Required. The following alterations and improvements within the exterior boundaries of a Unit may be affected by any Owner, Residential User or Commercial User without obtaining prior approval so long as these alterations and improvements do not change any structural walls (including any penetrations of concrete walls, ceilings or floors) or affect the overall structural integrity, acoustical properties, plumbing, mechanical or electrical systems of the Condominium:
a.) Decoration (e.g. applying paint, wall coverings, etc.)
b.) installation and removal of carpet
c.) installation and removal of furniture, including built-in furniture and cabinetry installations where no permitting is required and/or the original footprint remains unchanged
d.) updates to the cosmetic appearance of surfaces within the exterior boundaries of a Unit, but decoration and/or alteration of components located on the exterior boundaries of Residential Units visible from the outside of the Building including screens, doors, awnings, rails and the color any window coverings must be of a neutral white or off-white color that does not detract from the uniform appearance of the building and in accordance with such additional rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Association
e.) replacement of appliances, appurtenances, equipment, and fixtures in place:
sinks, faucets, shower heads, lighting and electrical switches and outlets
appliances (dishwashers, laundry equipment, water heaters, microwaves, ovens, cooktops)
interior doors and their related hardware where there are not material changes to ingress and egress
Owners must notify the Association in writing no less than forty-eight (48) hours in advance for any alterations or improvements that may potentially create scheduling considerations such as use of an elevator, excessive or prolonged noise or vibrations, the movement of extraordinarily sized items through any Common Element, or the use of vehicles that may need to occupy Post Alley for loading and/or unloading.
Unit Alterations – Prior Approval Required. The following alterations and improvements within the exterior boundaries of a Unit may be affected by any Owner, Residential User, or Commercial User only after obtaining the written approval of the Board of Directors:
a) installation of hard surface flooring above another Unit, which must meet sound reduction standards between Units established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for Grade I dwellings (A Guide to Airborne, Impact, and Structure Borne Noise-control in Multifamily Dwellings, page 153), using testing as prescribed by the Building Code, for both airborne (STC) and Impact Sound Insulation (IIC) sound. The Board may adopt rules and procedures for approval and installation of flooring above other living spaces, and for determination of compliance with these standards, and enforcement.;
b) construction or demolition of walls and soffits;
c) penetration of concrete walls, ceilings or floors (any holes or fasteners into these);
d) addition of and/or updates to core systems (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.);
e) addition and removal of appurtenances (excluding replacements in place and components that require no permitting);
f) alterations that impact fire and life safety systems, i.e. fire detectors, fire alarm speakers, and fire sprinklers;
g) alterations that impact the function of windows and/or doors on the exterior boundaries of a Unit;
h) alterations that require permitting from the City or other Building Officials.
Approval Procedures for Alterations. Alterations (“Work”) requiring prior approval must be initiated by the Owner(s) of a Unit or Limited Common Element Deck, Planter and/or Terrace by written application (“Alteration Request”) to the Board of Directors that contains all of the following as applicable:
a.) scope of work;
b.) plans and specifications, including drawings, measurements, photos, renderings, annotations, etc.;
c.) permit and inspection requirements (including those already obtained or that will be obtained);
d.) contractor details including licensing, insurance, etc.;
e.) requirements of Section 11.19 for relocation and reallocation.
The Board shall approve an Owner’s Alteration Request unless it lacks satisfactory evidence that: 1) the implementation and/or final Work will comply with this Declaration, 2) the application is complete as described above, and 3) if altering a Limited Common Element, that such Work does not detract from the aesthetic appearance of the building, nor unreasonably inhibit view corridors. Failure of the Board of Directors to act upon such Alteration Request within 30 calendar days shall be deemed approval thereof, except that a failure to act cannot authorize any work that would otherwise be prohibited by this Declaration. The Board of Directors may also elect to provide preliminary and/or conditional approval subject to the timely receipt of additional information and/or evidence related to the Alteration Request.
In the course of making a determination for the Alteration Request, the Board of Directors may retain, at the Owner’s expense, architects, engineers and other professional and/or expert resources to review the application. The Board of Directors, in its sole discretion, may also elect to conduct a hearing for the Alteration Request at such reasonable place and time as is suitable and provide details to the Owner(s) who shall be entitled to be heard and to be accompanied by professionals such as architects, engineers, contractors, etc. If additional information is required to approve the Alteration Request, the Board of Directors shall have 30 calendar days to act based on the last date such information is received.
Performance of Work. Owners who have obtained approval of their Alteration Request shall ensure all Work is performed: 1) in accordance with the plans and specifications provided, 2) in compliance with Section 11.18.4 and 3) in compliance with any express conditions of approval provided in writing by the Board of Directors.
Several factors including, but not limited to contractor and subcontractor availability, selection and skill, due diligence of architects and designers, existing construction and product availability may lead to deviations from the originally approved plans and specifications. Such deviations will be considered acceptable unless they: 1) contravene requirements 2 or 3 of this Section, 2) violate other requirements of this Declaration, 3) materially increase the scope and/or scale of the Alteration Request or, if altering a Limited Common Element, 4) detract from the aesthetic appearance of the building, or 5) unreasonably inhibit view corridors.
Unauthorized Work. If there is credible evidence that work requiring approval from the Board is being conducted without such approval, the Board may enter a Unit to inspect by providing one (1) business day’s advance Notice posted on the door of the Unit. Unauthorized work must stop until approval is obtained. Any expenses incurred by the Association for investigation and enforcement related to unauthorized work shall be assessed against the Unit. Damage to any Limited Common Element or Common Element may be restored by the Board and the cost thereof assessed to the Unit. Refusal by an Owner to allow inspection shall be prima fascia evidence that unauthorized work is being performed.
Inspection and Correction of Work. During the course of Work related to any approved Alteration Request, the Association and its agents and representatives may enter upon any Unit or Limited Common Element for the purpose of inspecting the Work by providing at least one business day’s advance Notice posted to the door of the Unit. Inspection may be made at any time during working hours or when work is being performed. The Association shall not damage or interfere with work in progress.
If, at any time during the course of Work, the Board of Directors determines that requirements set forth in this Section have been violated, it shall cause written Notice of specific violations to be sent to the Owner(s). The Association shall provide the Owner(s) Notice and Opportunity to be Heard. Owners shall have ten (10) days to cure the violation, or to confirm a plan with the Board or its Managing Agent to do so. Any expenses incurred by the Association for investigation and enforcement related to such violations shall be assessed against the Unit.
Violations that put the plumbing, mechanical, life safety or electrical systems of the property at risk may be corrected by the Association at Owner’s expense if not cured within three (3) days. If other violations continue to exist after such hearing as may be scheduled, the Association shall provide the Owner(s) no less than thirty (30) days to remedy or remove the Work. If the Work fails to be remedied within such time provided or within any extension thereof, the Board of Directors may remove the Work or otherwise remedy the violations and levy a special assessment for cost of the same against the related Unit.
Completion of Work. Owners shall, promptly upon completion of all Work related to the Alteration Request, notify the Association of such completion. Within thirty (30) days after receiving Notice of completion, the Association’s Board and its agents and representatives shall have the right to enter the Unit or Limited Common Element to inspect the Work and determine if the alterations comply with the requirements of Section 11.18.
If the Board of Directors determines that any completed Work violates the requirements of Section 11.18, it shall cause written Notice of specific violations to be sent to the Owner(s) and include a request to promptly remedy the same. If, upon the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date of such notification, the Owner(s) shall have failed to remedy the violations, the Association shall provide the Owner(s) Notice and Opportunity to be Heard.
If violations continue to exist after such hearing as may be scheduled, the Association shall provide the Owner(s) no less than thirty (30) days to remedy or remove the Work. If the Work fails to be remedied within such time provided or within any extension thereof, the Board of Directors may remove the Work or otherwise remedy the violations and levy a special assessment for cost of the same against the related Unit.
Failure to Notify. If, for any reason, the Association fails to notify an Owner of any Work deviation within sixty (60) days after receipt of Notice of completion from the Owner(s), the Work related to such Alteration Request shall be deemed to be in accordance with approved plans and specifications, except that such failure cannot authorize or approve work that is otherwise prohibited by the Declaration.
No Obligation to Conduct Inspections. Nothing contained in this Section shall be construed to require the Association to conduct inspections. Any determination not to conduct an inspection shall not be construed as a waiver of any of the requirements set forth with respect to the Alteration Request.
Waiver. The approval by the Board of Directors of any plans, drawings, specifications, or other documentation for any Alteration Request performed or proposed, shall not be deemed to constitute a waiver of any right to withhold approval of any similar Alteration Request subsequently submitted for approval.