Author: Easy House / published: 28 February 2022
The possession of a balcony for the exclusive use of the apartment owner often determines the choice of one’s own flat. To what extent does the balcony, or more precisely its components, belong to the apartment owner, and what is taken care of by the community?
Who is responsible for renovating the balcony
Having a balcony is undoubtedly an added value for the apartment user. It serves to relax, organize green space, and sometimes as a place to store things. The question that arises most frequently is: who is responsible for its renovation – the apartment owner or the community? It is difficult to find an answer to this question in the legal regulations themselves, but court judgments and interpretations of the law come to the rescue. According to these laws, the housing community is responsible for the balcony slab and its insulation, as common parts of the building, while the owner of the apartment is responsible for the surface with which the balcony is tiled with (tiles, terrace boards). Balustrades and barriers are also classified as common parts of the real estate, unless the regulations and statutes of the community provide otherwise, and this issue is regulated internally.
How to enjoy one’s own balcony…
The use of a balcony and the space within it is a very individual matter. Some use it to relax after a hard day’s work: they enjoy tending to the greenery, decorating it with pots of flowering plants, setting up deckchairs. Others use their balcony for more functional purposes, enlarging the living space and drying their laundry or storing items that get in their way in the apartment. Everyone makes use of the balcony in accordance with individual needs and expectations.
…and not disturb the neighbours
The most important thing, however, is not to make it difficult for others to use their space when using our balcony in a way that is convenient for us. It’s worth anticipating such scenarios as the one when, during excessive watering of potted plants, we inadvertently make the downstairs neighbor’s drying underwear dirty, or when, while firing up the barbecue, we accidentally smoke in the neighbor’s child’s bedroom. Although the balcony is an external part of the property, it should be used like any other common space. Mounting pergolas or satellite dishes can be a nuisance for the owners of neighboring balconies, because, for example, they take away daylight or obstruct the view from the window. Therefore, out of concern for good relations with the neighbors, it’s worth asking whether the changes we plan to make to the balcony will not be problematic for them.
What to agree with the community manager
It is also worth mentioning a few issues that require consultation with the community manager. For example, installation of an external air-conditioning unit may interfere with common parts (damage to the insulation of a balcony slab or a wall by drilling a hole for the installation). The same applies to the installation of awnings, roofings or partitions. So this type of change is better to discuss first with the person responsible for the technical condition of the building.
The balcony in a community living space is an important social element and has a positive impact on the well-being of people: it allows them to talk to their closest neighbors without leaving the apartment, its lucky owners can sip coffee outdoors and enjoy the nice weather or provide themselves with an intimate space to read a book and relax with good music. In many cities, this space has been appreciated by the municipal offices, which hold annual competitions for the most beautiful balcony.
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