Living in a condominium community can provide many benefits. At the same time, it imposes certain restrictions on individual property rights, particularly with respect to the right of homeowners to change the appearance of their unit. It is important for homeowners to understand both how the Association is structured and operates, and their rights and obligations as members of the Association. Requiring review of exterior modifications before they are implemented on a unit ensures conformances with property standards, uniformity in appearance and assists with raising property values. It also guarantees that modifications will not be noted during a violation or resale inspection of the home (violations typically require residents revert the modification back to its original condition which can end up being a costly endeavor).
Exterior Modifications Guide
The Association has broad rules requiring architectural modification applications for any modifications to a homeowner's unit, ranging from the installation of a new patio in the backyard to a front porch light fixture. There are only two exceptions to the rule that do not require applications:
- Residents may add flowers or plants to existing beds in the front and side of a unit providing the existing borders are not extended. Any shrubs or plants added should be similar in height and growth pattern to existing beds. No borders or fences are permitted around flower beds and no lawn ornaments, i.e. bird feeders, bird baths, statuary, benches, etc., are permitted on the common elements.
- "For Sale" or "For Rent" signs can be placed in the flower bed on the front or side of the unit. Four inch square sign posts are prohibited. Only one real estate sign is permitted for each condominium unit offered for sale. The sign may not exceed the typically sized real estate signs (approximately 18"x16"). One real estate sign is permitted in the common elements for directional purposes on Saturday and Sunday only. "Sold" signs are prohibited. No other exterior signs (including political signs) are permitted in Fairlington Towne. Any damage to the grounds resulting from the installation of signs must be repaired by the sign owner or the owner of the unit responsible for placement of the sign.
Unless the proposed exterior modification falls into one of these two categories an architectural modification application is required.
Architectural Review Process
The Board of Directors for Fairlington Towne Condominium are responsible for reviewing applications submitted by unit owners. Anyone wishing to make external changes to their property must meet the association's requirements for modifications and submit an architectural modification application before initiating work. The steps are as follows:
- The governing documents are provided to homeowners prior to closing on a house. Please read the guidelines and application requirements carefully before submitting your application.
- Submit your application, along with any other required documentation to the management company. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. the Friday before the Board meeting date for review. Incomplete applications will not be included on the meeting agenda.
- The Board of Directors will review your application and perform any site inspections as needed outlined in the Association documents. You will be contacted if additional information is needed or if there are any questions. Note: The Board of Directors enforces community guidelines but it is up to you to make sure you meet local permit requirements.
- Management will notify you of the Board of Director's decision on your application.