Who Is Responsible For Replacing Windows In a Condo?

How-Tos and Advice

One of the best things about condo ownership is that the homeowner’s association, or HOA, takes care of many of the hassles that come along with single family home ownership. Condo owners are collectively on the hook for the costs of maintenance, repairs, and upgrades to the common spaces of their buildings, but those costs are shared and are often already included in HOA fees.

But what about the spaces where the responsibility for repairs isn’t quite as clear, like when it comes to doors and windows. It’s hard to tell whether or not windows fall under the in-unit responsibility of condo owners or if they’re considered common elements that the HOA is responsible for.

If you’re wondering where the responsibility for condo window replacement usually lies, we’re here to help out.

Who replaces windows in a condo?

Whether you’re curious if you can add a window to your condo or you’re just curious about who covers condo window replacement, the best place to start is with your building’s HOA.

Each individual HOA agreement outlines what is considered a common element and what is considered the homeowner’s responsibility. From windows and doors to balconies, these are common gray areas that HOA agreements will address. The same goes for cleaning windows — the agreement will outline whose responsibility it is. Often owners will be responsible for the inside part of the panes while, especially in high-rise buildings — the HOA will likely deal with external window cleaning.

Beyond that, the reason for replacing a window matters as well. If you’ve broken it in some way, chances are that’s going to be your responsibility. But if you’re living on the coast and a hurricane is responsible for the damage, then the repairs will likely fall under the purview of the HOA and the insurance policies they carry.

How to take care of your condo’s windows

For those who would rather avoid the headache of dealing with broken or excessively dirty windows in the first place, here are some tips and tricks for keeping your condo's windows in tip-top shape.

  • Pair vinegar and dish soap with oil-free towels. Both dust and smoke can accumulate and lead to cloudy widows. To get them back to their sparkly clean condition, clean them with a solution that’s two parts water, one part vinegar, and one part dish soap. Spray the concoction onto the windows and wipe them clean with an oil-free towel to greatly reduce lingering streaks.
  • Clean your windows on a shady day. Otherwise, the sun will quickly heat and dry everything, leaving streaks behind.
  • Stay on top of minor repairs. From chipped paint to cracks in caulk, the sooner you identify and remedy a small issue, the better. Inspect your windows annually (spring cleaning is a great time for this!) and address issues as they arise to avoid letting issues fester to the point of needing major repairs or replacements.

One way to avoid window issues is to search for new construction buildings. That way you won’t inherit any issues and, by staying on top of things from day one, your widows are sure to last.

Browse more condo home buying tips here or explore our long list of condo lofts and luxury condos and make a highrise your new home!