Effective November 2013
Ref: Bylaws Article X, Section 1-8, page 28-31
Ref: Bylaws Article XIV, Section 4, pages 43-44
- A unit owner may not make any significant changes or additions to their unit until they have met the requirements set out in “Procedures for Building Modifications” [See Below].
- A copy of the approved ABM Form i.e. “Application for Building Modification” must be conspicuously posted on an exterior door or window of the unit 7 days before any construction begins and must remain posted for 14 days after construction has been completed.
- There shall be no deviation from the plans and specifications approved by the PMC without the written consent of the PMC.
- Alterations within a unit that would affect the 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.
- Alterations, installations, or attachments on the exterior of the general or limited common elements (balcony or patio walls, doors, or ceilings) are prohibited. These include (but are not limited to) changes in the structure or appearance (color and style) of buildings, and hardware used to permanently attach or hang flower pots, baskets or any other ornaments.
Note: Hardware used to permanently attach or hang flower pots, baskets or any other ornaments, in place at the effective date of this document, will be exempt from the rule as long as they do not cause further damage or present a hazard to the people or property below it. If those attachments are removed, the rule will apply thereafter.
6. A unit owner who makes any alteration, installation, or attachment on the common elements without the written approval of the PMC and the permission of the Board of Directors may be subject to a fine or other sanction, including a demand for the removal of the addition and restoration to its original condition.
7. A unit owner who constructs or has constructed an addition or other change in the 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 PMC or the Board of Directors. See “Procedures for Building Modification: A Word About Easements” [attached]
8. The paint used by a unit owner on the exterior surface of a balcony enclosure, carport storage unit, or other part of an apartment building or plaza unit must be matched as closely as possible to the exterior color chosen by the Mutual.
Procedures for Building Modifications in Mutual 14
The ‘ABM’: Application for Building Modification
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 Property Maintenance Committee or Board of Directors before making any substantial architectural or structural changes to your unit. The 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.
NOTE: 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.
- Get an ABM (Application for Building Modifications) from the Mutual Assistant or download the form here (PDF) and fill it out.
- Take the completed ABM to Leisure World’s Physical Properties Department (PPD). They will review your request and make any pre-inspections necessary to provide comments for your Mutual. [Ammended February 2014]
- Your application and PPD’s comments are then reviewed by Mutual 14’s Property Maintenance Committee and they add their comments.
- Finally, the Board of Directors reviews your application and all the comments and makes a decision to approve, modify, or reject your request.
- A copy of the approved ABM must be conspicuously posted on an exterior window of your unit 7 days before any construction begins and must remain posted for 14 days after construction has been completed.
NOTE: In order to expedite your paperwork through the approval process, it may help you to know that the M14 Property Maintenance Committee meets on the first Thursday of the month and the M14 Board of Directors meet on the third Tuesday of the month. [February 2014]
On occasion, the Mutual Board will require that the unit owner employ the services of PPD as an outside inspector to insure the work is done in accordance with the approved plans, specifications and code requirements.
By following these procedures, we can help to insure that all work is done in a professional manner throughout Leisure World for the benefit of the entire community.
Standards for Balcony Enclosures in Apartment Buildings
In order to preserve harmony of design in the exterior of the apartment buildings, Mutual 14 has set the following standards:
- Enclosures for the first and second floor are to be constructed with glass or screen panels in pre-finished, metal frames which will extend from the floor to the height of 6′ 8″. The area between the top of the glass or screen panels to the ceiling is to be finished in white aluminum panels, 12″ wide with center groove, and 1/2″ plywood backing shall be installed under this aluminum siding.
- Enclosures on the second and third floor are to be constructed inside the hand railing.
- Enclosures on the third floor are to be constructed with pre-finished metal frames which extend from the floor to the ceiling.
What are “significant changes”?
What constitutes “a significant architectural or structural modification”? The following are examples of changes that are not significant and DO NOT require an ABM.
- Interior painting
- 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
- Replacement of an existing storm door of the same color
Some examples of modifications that DO require an ABM
- Adding/replacing windows and doors
- Adding new space with a Florida room or by enclosing an existing patio/balcony/atrium
- Converting garage space into living space (adding a bonus room)
- Lighting or electrical modifications (except for “in kind” light fixture replacement)
- Plumbing and HVAC modifications
- Kitchen renovations involving counter top and/or cabinet replacement with layout changes
- Renovations involving appliance relocations, electrical circuit and/or plumbing modifications
These examples are not intended to be an all-inclusive list. If you have any doubts, please submit the ABM. If you need further clarification, call the Chairman of the Mutual’s Property Maintenance Committee, or the Director of the Physical Properties Department.
A Word on Easements
An easement is required when property from one entity is taken over by another entity. Some owners want to extend the size of the Florida rooms at the back of their units, not deepening it but extending it along the back of the house, or they want to enclose the atrium between the garage and the front door, thus converting some “common” element to private ownership. Another area of conversion involves enclosing the balcony or patio of an apartment. This means an increase in the square footage of one’s living area, and is recorded as an addition to your property, increasing the County Property Tax. The cost of building the extension is borne by the owner, as is all subsequent maintenance costs. Then there’s the increase in the assessed value of the unit, also necessitating an increase in the condominium fees, since that’s based on the square footage of living space.
In making these conversions, applicable County building codes must be observed and permits obtained. Our own Bylaws and Rules, and the procedures for the ABM, must be followed. Licensed contractors must provide a detailed description of the intended work. The result is the unit owner assuming complete responsibility for that area, removing it from Mutual maintenance responsibility.