FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE IMPERIAL HOUSE
Buyers, or potential buyers, have a number of questions about condominium living before they purchase a unit in the condominium. Here's some information to better understand how the Imperial House operates.
- What is included in the condo fee paid each month?
The monthly condo fee is comprised of two components, a proportionate share of the cost to operate the building (based on a unit owner approved operating budget for recurring day-to-day expenses), and a share of the costs necessary to fund a capital improvement reserve (long range) budget. Operating expenses include:
- the cost of domestic water and sewage.
- all common area landscaping and snow removal.
- association employee wages and benefits, including related payroll taxes and insurance.
- association liability insurance.
- common element fire insurance.
- year-end audit (or financial review) costs.
- attorney/legal fees relative to association business.
- elevator service.
- maintenance and operation of swimming pool, exercise room/equipment, separate saunas for men and women, public restrooms, maintenance and upkeep of party room (available to any unit owner in good standing, subject to payment of a per diem/per use fee), and maintenance and upkeep of two guest rooms (available to any unit owner in good standing, subject to payment of a per diem rental fee).
- common area lighting.
- common element heating and cooling.
- common element decorating.
- the counsel, financial administration and buying clout of a professional manager.
- What happens if the board approved budget or capital budget proves to be inadequate?
The Board of Directors may opt to delay certain work into another budget year. Or, the Board may opt to have certain work phased over a number of budget years, or until the association finances improve. Or the Board may seek public financing of a project. The Board also has the authority to pass a special assessment of all unit owners of record, based on the respective ownership interest of each unit owner. Such special assessments are NOT common and represent an exception more than a rule.
- What can I expect in terms of maintenance and repair service to be provided by association employees inside my apartment?
Typically, during the employee's normal work hours, the association employees are permitted to work ONLY in portions of the building's common elements. However, in the event of an emergency, e.g., fire, water leak, water break, etc., the building employee(s) will render emergency assistance to any unit owner in distress. Staff employees are not permitted to perform non-emergency maintenance in any apartment.
Building employees are forbidden from picking up or moving an injured unit owner who has fallen or is unable to get up under their own power. Building employees are authorized only to contact emergency personnel to assist an immobile unit owner.
- What kind of insurance should I carry as a condominium unit owner?
Insurance questions should be addressed with your personal insurance agent. Members of the building staff and management are not qualified to render insurance advice. But, as an accommodation to potential unit owners, we can report that generally speaking, at a minimum, condo unit owners are urged to carry an HO-6 policy with an HO-32 Extended Risk Endorsement, or equivalent coverage. (We are told that comparable coverage is available through underwriters who do not use these ISO forms.)
- Are there any special rules that I/we need to know before we move in or before we schedule renovations in the apartment?
Yes, there are very specific rules relative to when move-ins/move-outs are permitted (including the need to schedule the move with the building office and posting a security deposit). There are also specific rules which define permissible work hours when non-emergency renovation work can be completed. Apartment renovations must be reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors prior to the start of any work. Contractors are required to sign in at the office prior to being permitted in the building. A valid certificate of insurance from your contractor will also be required prior to starting any renovations. Since guest parking (contractor parking) in the front parking lot is quite limited, the building staff may request that your contractor park in the lot in the rear of the building. A COMPLETE SET OF CONDO DOCUMENTS AND HOUSE RULES SHOULD BE REVIEWED BEFORE PURCHASING ANY CONDO UNIT.
- Who do I/we contact with questions about Imperial House or to request service to correct some common area deficiency, a billing inquiry, or a complaint?
We would welcome your call at the building office at 412-421-4700 or you are invited to call Bob Giese at the Arnheim & Neely management office at 412-391-1900.