Effective March 1, 2021
Ref: Bylaws Article X, Section 1-8, page 28-31
Ref: Bylaws Article XIV, Section 4, pages 43-44
Building Modifications: General
- “Building modifications” [“modifications”] are defined as architectural or structural changes, additions, installations, attachments, or the like.
- Modifications that would affect a unit’s structural integrity, the property or welfare of any other unit owner, or the cost of maintaining or insuring the Mutual are strictly prohibited.
- Modifications that would change the style of a building’s exterior or the color of the brick, or cause damage to the brick or siding are strictly prohibited.
- The Mutual has authority over styles and colors presented to the exterior of buildings.
- Architectural or structural modifications to the unit or the limited common elements are not permitted without an ABM approved by the Board.
- There shall be no deviation from the plans and specifications approved by the Board without the written consent of the Board.
- A unit owner who makes any architectural or structural modification to the unit, or on the common or limited common elements, without the written approval of the Board may be subject to a fine or other sanction, including a demand for the removal of the addition or installation and restoration of the common or limited common element to its original condition – at the owner’s expense.
- A unit owner who constructs or has constructed an addition or other modification a building modification to the limited common elements assumes the responsibility for any resulting increase in the cost of maintaining the common elements, whether or not that condition is stated when the change is approved by the Board.
- Unit owners are responsible for the maintenance, repair, removal, and replacement of any modification to their unit.
- If their modification, or any part thereof, must be removed by the Mutual for the inspection or repair of common elements, the unit owner will be responsible for the costs of its removal and replacement.
- Unit owners will be responsible for costs to repair damages to the common elements or private property caused by a failure to maintain their modification in good repair. This includes the cost to remove an adjoining enclosure in order to effect those repairs. In accordance with Maryland law, these costs may not exceed the amount of the Mutual’s insurance deductible, whether or not an insurance claim is filed.
Building Modifications: Do I need an “ABM”?
All Mutuals in Leisure World have Bylaws and Rules that govern the actions of unit owners for the benefit of the community. One such requirement is the need to gain written approval from the Mutual’s Board before making any architectural or structural changes to your unit. The Application for Building Modification [“ABM”] procedure was established to ensure that building modifications, renovations, or alterations are performed in a safe and professional manner in accordance with all applicable code requirements for the safety and benefit of the entire community.
We strongly recommend that you submit an ABM for all your improvements, providing documentation for your unit’s permanent file.
The following are examples of changes that are not architectural or structural and DO NOT require an ABM.
- Interior painting
- Installation of good quality underlayment for the reduction of noise transmission, and replacement of existing floor coverings
- Replacement of an existing appliance in its original location
- Counter top and/or cabinet replacements with no layout changes requiring plumbing or electrical modifications.
Some examples of modifications that DO require an ABM:
- Adding or replacing windows, sliders, exterior doors, garage doors, and storm or screen doors. The Mutual has authority over styles and colors presented to the exterior of buildings.
- Adding new space by enclosing an atrium, patio, or balcony, or by building a Florida room or converting a garage into a bonus room.
- Renovations involving moving or removing internal walls or widening interior doors.
- Appliance relocation, lighting or electrical modifications and/or relocation (except for “in kind-in place” light fixture or outlet replacement).
- Upgrading kitchen or bathroom electrical outlets with CGFI (safety) outlets.
- Plumbing relocation or capping and HVAC (air conditioning) modifications (air conditioner & baseboard heat to heat pump) or relocation.
- Kitchen renovations involving counter top and/or cabinet replacement with layout changes requiring plumbing or electrical modifications.
These examples are not intended to be an all-inclusive list. If the Mutual has questions or needs more documentation, a representative of the Mutual will contact you.
It is premature to sign any contractor’s proposal to perform work, purchase any materials for the job, or give any contractor deposit money until the Mutual Board has approved your application.