General Area in Union City>Question Details

Ruben Dario, Other/Just Looking in New Jersey

Can I alter the layout of a condo? I want to knock down an interior (not support) wall to combine two rooms,

Asked by Ruben Dario, New Jersey Thu Aug 21, 2008

what permits will I need in Union City, NJ? being that is a condo, and there are no more sponsor owned units, do I need permission from anybody other than agency permits?

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You have three things to research. I'd suggest that first you review your condo rules and, further talk to the officers of the association and/or the management firm, if that is a different organization. Sometimes what you can do (on paper) you can't do without more trouble than it’s worth. Second, you will have to talk to the town's building department. Most condos are structurally intermeshed and the town will have codes to follow, if they allow the construction at all. Finally, you are going to have to find an engineering firm to design an installation that the first two will accept. This will also give whomever is going to do the work proper drawings and specifications. You may be able to do it yourself if you've got the skill but it may be that even so, you will be forced to use a licensed contractor.

All of this requires time and money, so another thing to think about is the cost justification and what the time horizon that you have with this residency. It may all fall into place easily but each situation is unique.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
Condo association rules and regs vary. You'll have to check with the association.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
Possible, first step is to determine what is allowed per the Rules/Bylaws of your Condo Association. Then it is on to the township to determine what if any permits may be required. Not going about this the right way could haunt you later if/when you try to sell.

Good luck.

Jeannie Feenick
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
I would review your condo documents and rules and regulations on remodeling. In most cases you would have to have your contractor draw up the plans, submit the plans to the condo association for approval and get permits from your cityt/town hall for the work to be done. It is done all the time so you shouldnt have a problem. Make sure everything is complete when you go submit your plans, pictures are always good to take and submit as well. Good luck with the renovations.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
If your real estate practices are similar to ours in California, I would suggest that you first reference your CC&R's: Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions. When your development was subdivided into condo units, the developer had to create these CC&R's. Subsequent HOA's can change them, but they essentially provide a blueprint for things you can and (mostly) can't do, like own dogs, barbecue on your deck or even allow people under the age of 55 to live in your home.

You own the condo and certainly have all the rights that go along with property ownership. However, CC&R's insert covenants, conditions and restrictions that may prevent you from doing things like combining two rooms. Certainly, your HOA could inform you too. If your HOA employs a management company, contact your HOA's representative there.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
Your homeowner's association may have to approve it. They may want drawing proving that they are non-load-bearing walls. It's best to get permission and do it right.
Talk the Property Manager and/or Resident Manager and how to proceed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2008
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