My question involves a condominium located in the State of: Michigan
There is a new state law that says any basement used for purposes other than storage must have an egress window; ergo, if you want to finish your basement, you must have an egress window.
Our condo community which only consists of 56 units is 20 years old. Most people have finished basements that were finished by the builder when the units were built. Nobody has egress windows.
We have serious drainage problems here due to improper grading. Our HOA spends an enormous amount of money every year repairing leaks in co-owners' basements. To properly correct the grading would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm not sure how it got approved when these places were built.
In my research, egress windows are not a good bet in areas that have water drainage problems. We do not want to approve this for a homeower who just bought in our community, but do we have the right to tell the co-owner no? If we do not approve the egress window, we are in effect are telling him he can't finish his basement. Do we have the legal right to do that?
We already see the writing on the wall. We can make the co-owner sign a waiver making him responsible if the window leaks, however, I can see the argument arising that the water is not leaking from the window but from another area, making the HOA responsible. As anyone who has had water problems knows, water has a mind of its' own and it's very difficult to discover the source. We would like to avoid any problems by not approving egress windows.