“Limited Common Element” is a term that is thrown out into the wild occasionally but is a characteristic that presents itself in most buildings. Many people are unsure what it means and if they are affected by it, so with the below examples we can dive deeper for a better understanding.
By definition, a Limited Common Element is a part of the commonly owned property that only a few apartments, or even one apartment has access to. One example of a Limited Common Element would be a terrace that is only accessible by the unit that has access to it. Because the access is only through the living room of unit 18B, in this example, this commonly owned element is limited in its use by the occupant of 18B.
One more example of a limited common area element may be a rooftop garden which only the top floors have access to. The shareholders or unit owners that live below the top-level floor are restricted from its use, in some cases, and if that is the case, then the rooftop garden is a limited common element.
Other examples can include garages, parking spaces, balconies, storage areas and more. What is important to remember is that by designating the area a Common Limited Element, the access is restricted, but the responsibility for the upkeep and repair is ultimately left to the Cooperative or Condominium as a whole. For example, if there is a structural issue with a balcony and it is considered to be a Limited Common Element, the responsibility would be on the building to make the repairs. Often, these repairs will coincide with a larger project and all of the shareholders or unit owners will pay for their share as allocated in the Offering Plan (regardless if they have access to that Limited Common Element or not).