What are Limited Common Elements?

Limited Common Elements (LCEs) areas or amenities that belong to the Homeowners Associations and all its members, but that one individual, or group, rents or leases exclusively for their own purposes. This could not only include a storage unit or specific parking spaces that are used only by the individual whom have reserved these areas for their personal use, but could also take a wider definition to apply to pipes, electrical wiring and units, as well as air conditioning units.

Features that are classified as these common elements may also differ depending on what type of community you live. Those who live in condominiums and townhomes will inherently interact with common elements more often and have more regular access to them than home owners. Some general common elements that are strictly just for show, like fountains and gardens. When it comes to limited common elements, they should be treated as property of the association (because they are). As such, no matter what fees are paid or how exclusive the use of this amenity is to you, this element should not be damaged or defaced in any way.

As a homeowner who may hold access to a limited common element, you will need to be aware of what fees you would be paying, if any, and will almost certainly need permission to make any changes to this amenity: permission that is not guaranteed. As a board member, however, you will need to be clear on any language in the community’s governing documents that mentions limited common areas and exactly what is said about it. As the case often is, the covenants may be incredibly broad and somewhat vague about how to handle situations that include LCE disputes. Generally, governing documents will state that the board has an obligation to maintain, repair, and replace an amenity, including Limited Common Elements, and should act in accordance with that language.

The tricky part of limited common elements is discerning what responsibilities fall unto the homeowners association and what responsibilities are required of the primary user. As mentioned, refer to your association’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions in addition to any amendment documents, and do not be afraid to contact your association’s attorney before your board amends any of those documents and before engaging in any actions that may be breech your HOAs covenants. For more information on limited common elements, take a look at our blog.

What are Limited Common Elements?

Limited Common Elements (LCEs) areas or amenities that belong to the Homeowners Associations and all its members, but that one individual, or group, rents or leases exclusively for their own purposes. This could not only include a storage unit or specific parking spaces that are used only by the individual whom have reserved these areas for their personal use, but could also take a wider definition to apply to pipes, electrical wiring and units, as well as air conditioning units.

Features that are classified as these common elements may also differ depending on what type of community you live. Those who live in condominiums and townhomes will inherently interact with common elements more often and have more regular access to them than home owners. Some general common elements that are strictly just for show, like fountains and gardens. When it comes to limited common elements, they should be treated as property of the association (because they are). As such, no matter what fees are paid or how exclusive the use of this amenity is to you, this element should not be damaged or defaced in any way.

As a homeowner who may hold access to a limited common element, you will need to be aware of what fees you would be paying, if any, and will almost certainly need permission to make any changes to this amenity: permission that is not guaranteed. As a board member, however, you will need to be clear on any language in the community’s governing documents that mentions limited common areas and exactly what is said about it. As the case often is, the covenants may be incredibly broad and somewhat vague about how to handle situations that include LCE disputes. Generally, governing documents will state that the board has an obligation to maintain, repair, and replace an amenity, including Limited Common Elements, and should act in accordance with that language.

The tricky part of limited common elements is discerning what responsibilities fall unto the homeowners association and what responsibilities are required of the primary user. As mentioned, refer to your association’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions in addition to any amendment documents, and do not be afraid to contact your association’s attorney before your board amends any of those documents and before engaging in any actions that may be breech your HOAs covenants. For more information on limited common elements, take a look at our blog.