When Do You Need Permission for Your Condo Remodeling Project?

In Chicago, condo owners typically need permission or approval from the condo association or board before undertaking any remodeling project within their unit. To be sure, you’ll want to review the specific requirements and procedures in your association’s governing documents.

In addition to securing the greenlight from your HOA, you may also need to secure permits from the city before beginning any kind of condo remodeling project.

Common Remodeling Scenarios When HOA Permission May Be Required

Not all condo upgrades will require approval from your condo association, but when in doubt, it’s best to ask and most definitely consult your association’s governing documents. There can certainly be some gray areas when it comes to condo renovations. Here are a few examples of remodeling projects that frequently require HOA permission.

●  Structural changes – If your remodeling project involves any structural changes, such as removing or altering walls, adding or expanding rooms or modifying load-bearing elements, you will likely need permission from the condo association.

●  Plumbing and electrical work – Any modifications or additions to the plumbing or electrical systems within your unit will typically require permission. This includes installing new fixtures, relocating plumbing or electrical lines, or making changes that may affect the building’s overall systems.

●  Changes to common areas – If your remodeling project involves accessing or altering common areas, such as hallways, elevators, or shared utility spaces, permission from the condo association will likely be necessary. This ensures that the project does not disrupt other residents or compromise the safety and functionality of common areas.

●  Changes to exterior elements – If your remodeling project involves changes to the exterior appearance of your unit, such as installing new windows, altering balconies, or modifying the façade, permission from the condo association is typically required.

It’s essential to review your condo association’s governing documents and consult with the association to understand the specific approval process and requirements for remodeling projects. Failure to obtain the necessary permissions can result in fines, legal disputes or the requirement to revert changes at your own expense. It may also be helpful to consult your association’s management company as they are also highly familiar with the condo’s governing documents and bylaws.