These rules must be followed before installing an air conditioner on the balcony and avoid a tragedy

A month and a half before the Olympic Games (July 26-August 11), tensions are rising. A topic that can cause drama worries the Paris prefecture and real estate professionals: will the balconies be strong enough to support the weight of the curious? Instructions have been provided to administrators to alert owners and tenants of the risks in the event of an influx of people to this facility. But these concerns are also present on a daily basis. In Reims, a building’s social landlord has condemned the use of its balconies, identifying an intractable structural problem that will require their complete replacement.

Balconies can also be an indirect cause of damage. This is how two balconies partially collapsed onto a public road in the center of Nice due to an air conditioner installed by a resident. When handled, the device would come loose and fall off the balcony of the lower floor. Fortunately, the worst was avoided: there were no injuries. Which was not the case in 2010: a pensioner, still in Nice, was killed by a falling balcony when he was about to enter the establishment.

This news reminds us how important it is to respect certain rules before installing an air conditioner in order to avoid a tragedy. First, check your condominium regulations to see if balconies (or patios) are considered common or private. Generally, these are common areas for private use (the use of which is reserved for the co-owner concerned), according to the National Housing Information Agency. “In this case, you can customize and decorate your balcony/terrace according to your taste, but you must respect the rules of the regulations. For example, there may be restrictions on paint color, materials used or permanent decorative elements to respect the overall harmony of the building.”, advises Anil.

Unauthorized dismantling of the air conditioner

The permission of the general meeting (VS) of the co-owners may therefore be necessary if the construction affects the common areas or the external appearance of the building (Section 25 of the Act of 10 July 1965). In particular, if you decide to install an air conditioner that does not require the drilling of partitions, you do not need to apply for any permit. On the other hand, if it is an installation involving fixing to the external walls of the building, considered common areas, you must obtain the approval of the general meeting of the co-owners.

For this purpose, the co-owner must send a registered letter with delivery to the administrator and ask him to put this question on the agenda of the next general meeting and attach all useful documents (which must in particular specify the place where he intends to install the air conditioner) to support his request. If a supermajority is not reached, but at least a third of the votes approve the decision, the same assembly can decide on a second vote. If less than a third of the votes are gathered, it is possible to convene a new general meeting within 3 months. If the AGM has already taken place and you don’t want to wait until next year to present your project, it is in your best interest to get the work done as quickly as possible at the next meeting – at the co-owner’s expense – by obtaining retroactive authorisation.

Finally, what is the penalty for a co-owner who installed an air conditioner without permission from the co-owner? “He risks having to dismantle it and pay damages to the other co-owners.warns maître Valentin Simonnet, real estate lawyer. They have 10 years to challenge the air conditioning installation in court.»

Leave a Comment