B. Ownership

I.  What Belongs to You and What Belongs to the Trust?

Simply stated, the interior space of each unit is the exclusive property of the unit owner, while the building structure and the surrounding grounds within the property are owned by the Trust, representing all unit owners.  More specifically, the boundaries of your unit are identified as follows:

 a)  “Floors”:  the upper surface of the concrete floor slab of the basement.

 b)  “Ceilings”:  the plane of the lower surface of the upper floor ceiling joists.

c)  “Interior building walls between units”:  the plane of the surface facing the wall studs of the unit or, in the basement, the surface of the concrete wall.

d)  “Exterior buildings walls between units”:  the plane of the interior surface of the wall studs or, in the basement, the interior surface of the concrete wall.

e)  “Doors and windows”:  all surfaces of all doors and windows, including exterior surfaces.  All storm doors, storm windows and all window frames.

The owner bears the responsibility for the maintenance of all interior surfaces, fixtures, systems, appliances and storm doors and windows.  Although the owner or tenant has the right to decisions as to the utilization, furnishing and decoration of all interior spaces, the Trust has the responsibility to establish standards of propriety and conformity for any interior treatment that is visible from the outside and therefore affects everyone in the community.

II.  Your Obligations and Rights as a Unitowner

As an owner you share equally with all of your neighbors access to common facilities and services offered in and by the community.  You share also in the responsibility for preserving the economic vitality and viability of this community and for living in harmony with your neighbors.   

∙Along with your right to use the recreational and social facilities of the community is the obligation to follow all of the rules governing their use.

∙Your right to communicate directly with the Board of Trustees when you have questions and concerns does not preclude your responsibility to do so in a courteous manner and at an appropriate time and place.

∙Your right to privacy and safety for you, your family and property brings with it an obligation to comply with those rules and regulations that were developed to ensure these rights for all members of the community.
∙You are certainly entitled to voice concerns about the way in which the affairs of the Association are conducted, but you can serve your community best when you volunteer to actively participate in the way in which it is run.

∙You have the right to assume sound fiscal management of your common investment and will demonstrate your responsibility toward this goal by paying your monthly condominium fees, or any special assessment, fully and promptly.

∙Failure to exercise your right to vote deprives the community of a clear majority consensus and impedes or delays decisions.

III.  General Ownership Rules

∙The owner is responsible for reading all of the documents of the Drummer Farms Condominium Trust, including this document, and for adhering to all rules and regulations contained in these documents.

∙The owner is responsible to ensure that his guests also adhere to all of the rules and regulations.

∙The owner is responsible for all repairs within the confines of his/her unit.  (See “Exclusive Use Areas” Pg. 11)

∙The owner is responsible for the maintenance of the exclusive use areas surrounding her/his unit, subject to the association's control.  (see “Common Area”, Pg. 9)

∙The owner is responsible for insuring that his/her tenant follows all of the Trust regulations.  Failure of the tenant to adhere to all of the regulations will subject the lessor/owner to all legal remedies available to enforce compliance, including, but not limited to, fines, penalties and reasonable attorney fees.

∙Units may not be occupied by more than one family or more than three unrelated adults.

∙Occupants shall commit no nuisance or be a source of annoyance to neighbors.

∙No illegal activities are permitted in units or on condominium property.

∙Each unit is intended to be used solely as a single family residence.  In general, no business activities of any nature shall be conducted in any unit.  It is, however, possible for certain independent professionals (lawyers, architect, accountant etc.) to maintain a home office so long as there are no employees, no advertisement and no disruption to the neighborhood.

IV.  Selling Your Unit

Owners should notify the Trustees of their decision to place their unit on the market.  So informed, the Trustees are in a position to support your efforts at making your property more marketable as well as smoothing the closing process.  Our condominium has a unique requirement whereby a waiver of the Trust's right of first refusal is required prior to any sale.

“For Sale” signs are not permitted anywhere on the property.  “Open House” signs are permitted temporarily.

We recommend that all owners give a prospective buyer a copy of the Trust documents, including this registered Handbook with its Rules & Regulations, prior to the signing of a purchase and sale agreement, because of the legal requirements mandating that all owners abide by the condominium's Rules and Regulations.

Before ownership is transferred owners must fulfill all outstanding obligations to the Trust.  To obtain the necessary legal document, releasing any liens on your unit, a “6d certificate” is required at the sales closing.  In order to be provided with this certificate, and other documents required by state law at closing, you must:

1) provide the Treasurer with the name(s) of the purchaser(s), the selling price and the date of closing at least ten business days prior to the closing date.

2) pay all outstanding Common Area fees, fines and other charges up to and including the last day of the month of the closing date.

3) when applicable, present indemnification or proof of inspection to the Trustees, that the chimney was cleaned and inspected.

The association charges a modest handling fee for your closing documents.

V.  Renting Your Unit

The goal of the majority of unit owners is to have every unit owner-occupied, so as to optimally protect property values.  It must be understood that, in the event that you do rent your unit, you assume total responsibility for your tenants.  The Trust must not be placed in the position of landlord.

An owner must notify the Trustees in writing of his intent to rent prior to renting the unit.

As of June 1, 1995, a unit must have been owner-occupied for one year before it can be rented, except under special circumstances approved in writing by the Board of Trustees.

Any lease or rental agreement for any unit should be in writing and specifically subject to the Master Deed, the By-Laws of the Association and the Rules and Regulations of the Condominium, and must have a minimum term of one year.  A copy of the lease or rental agreement must be furnished to the Board of Trustees in advance of any execution.  Subleasing is not permitted.  Leases that are broken within one year are subject to fines at the discretion of the Trustees.

No more than three unrelated persons may rent a unit.

No “For Rent” signs are permitted anywhere on the property.

The owner must give the prospective tenant a copy of the Handbook with its Rules & Regulations of Drummer Farms Trust prior to the signing of the lease.  A signed statement from the prospective tenant that the above mentioned documents have been received and read, and that the rules and regulations contained therein will be adhered to, must be sent to the Trustees by the unit owner prior to the signing of the lease, and be incorporated in the lease agreement.

The owner must provide a forwarding address to the Trustees.

All owners, residents and tenants, are subject to applicable fines and penalties for non-compliance with (the) stated Rules & Regulations of Drummer Farms Condominiums.

VI.  MAKING CHANGES TO YOUR UNIT:

Because the interior space of the unit is your exclusive property you are obliged to maintain all interior surfaces, fixtures, systems and appliances.  You have the right to decisions as to the utilization, furnishing and decoration of all interior space so long as the structural and architectural integrity of the building and the units are preserved without modification.  Any changes to any area of your unit that may impact common space must be formally presented, in writing and accompanied by representative drawings, for Trustee review in advance.

The Trust is obliged to regulate and approve changes and improvements that could adversely affect adjacent units, or the condominium as a whole.  Nothing can be done or kept in any unit, or in the common areas and facilities, which will increase the insurance rates or otherwise jeopardize the master insurance policy.  Additionally, the Trust has the responsibility to establish standards of propriety and conformity for any community.  Failure to abide by these Trust recommendations and regulations will result in the Trustees exercising their rights to enforce specific fines and penalties and other legal rights to ensure compliance.

Please be guided by the following facts:

 *Sink Disposal Units:
     Not allowed, as their use adversely affects septic systems.

 *Basement Rooms:
     All work must adhere to the building codes of the Town of Acton.  Electrical work           must be by a licensed electrician with a town permit.  The Trust must be notified in       writing, before work begins, that these requirements have been met.

 *Attics:
     May be used for storage only.  You may not open the ceiling into the attic, construct                        rooms, or otherwise alter this space.  You may install pull-down stair units for easier access to the attic.

  *Walls & Ceilings:
     You may not remove walls, open ceilings, or alter weight-bearing structures in the        unit without the express and written prior permission of the Trustees.

 *Doors & Windows:
     All replacement doors and windows must first be approved by the trustees and closely match those they are replacing.  There must be no visible difference apparent when viewed from the outside of the unit.  If previously approved replacements are not available you must consult with the Architectural Standards Committee, and receive approval from the Trust prior to installing an alternative.  Your front door must exactly match the color of the three other front doors in your building and front storm doors must uniformly match the design of all other front storm doors.  The inner and outer surfaces of all windows must be maintained, repaired and replaced by you; this includes painting the outside of the windows.

 *Lighting:
     Major changes in interior lighting must be done by a licensed electrician.  Exterior lighting fixtures may not be changed by you, as these are common property.

 *Sun Deck:
     No additions, screening nor outdoor carpeting may be installed on the deck.  While seasonal furniture and appliances are acceptable, you must not use the deck for storage of other household items, such as furniture, trash cans, empty flower pots and the like.  It is not permissible to use the deck for drying wash since the practice is offensive to neighbors and reduces community standards.  Firewood and any other articles must never be stored on or beneath decks.

 *Heating Conversions:
     Any owner considering heating equipment replacement or conversion from the present electric heat pump system must receive approval, in writing, from the Trustees.  Written requests for approval must be received by the Trustees at least 90 days in advance of submittal of plans to the Town for fire inspection approval.  Owners considering such conversions are responsible to provide to the Trustees all required technical specifications, approvals, licenses, plans, insurance binders, etc., prior to any review by the Trustees.

 *Wood Stoves, Chimneys & Fireplaces:
     You must follow the same process for “Heating Conversions” above.  If you presently own a fireplace you are obliged to use it in a responsible manner and have it and the flue regularly cleaned and maintained.

VII.  How To Protect Your Unit.

Unit owners are responsible for their own actions, both with and apart from the Trust.  The Trust has secured a Master Condominium policy, subject to the policy exclusions, covering property and liability related claims.  The intent is to provide coverage to the Common areas.  Additionally, the property coverage form is considered “all in”, covering through the walls of the individual unit to include permanent fixtures, in addition to the following:

 a)  completed additions, alterations and improvements
 b)  permanently installed fixtures
 c)  wall to wall carpeting and hardwood flooring
 d)  paint, wallpaper, light fixtures
e)  appliances used for refrigerating, ventilating, cooking, dish washing and laundering

Insurance
Any property loss under the master policy is subject to a $1000 deductible.  It is the individual unit owner's responsibility to insure the first $1000, which may be done by purchasing an HO-6 Condominium unit owner's policy.  The policy automatically comes with a $1000 limit of dwelling (building) coverage, subject to the unit owner's own deductible.  Coverage may be broadened by using the HO-32 and HO-35 endorsements.

Liability coverage, under the Trust's Master Policy, protects the Association for claims involving bodily injury or property damage within the Common areas.  Normally, negligence needs to be established in order to determine coverage and potential pay-outs.  Nonetheless, the Master Policy is designed to defend liability suits or claims brought against the Trust, and will pay on behalf of the Trust, all sums which the Trust becomes legally obligated to pay.  Below is a summary of the limits:

a)  Bodily Injury/Property Damage:  $1,000,000 any one occurrence-$2,000,000 aggregate
b)  Personal Injury:  $1,000,000 any one occurrence
c)  Medical Payments:  $5,000 any one occurrence

The above descriptions are intended to give you an idea of what is and what is not covered by the Trust's policies.  In any event the actual policies will take precedence.  The Master Policy is available for you review.

Procedure for Property Damage Claims:
1)  Immediately report any and all claims to the agents for both your Homeowners and the Master Policy.

2)  Arrange to protect the property from further damage and loss.  It is all right to make temporary repairs, such as boarding up open areas, or drying out water-soaked goods.  The costs involved in such measures are recoverable under any type of policy.  Other repairs, however, should not be made until clearance has been given by the insurance adjuster.

3)  Try to determine the exact cause of the loss.

Procedure for Liability Claims:
Accidents which injure people visiting you, or which damage their property, are an ever-present possibility.  In the event that someone is injured in or about your unit, the following steps should be taken:

1)  Observe the person before s/he is removed from the premises.  This enables you to make a first-hand description of the accident and to identify the injured party at a later time.

2)  Inspect the area where the injury reportedly occurred.  If, in your judgment, the area continues to pose a hazard, take appropriate measures to prevent injury to others.  Do not make repairs until the adjuster inspects the area.

Since it is the adjuster's role to decide legal liability you should not dispute facts with the claimant.  The best approach for you is to be courteous and helpful, but make no admissions or promises other than that the accident will be reported to both of your agents, Homeowner's and the Trust's.  These suggestions also apply to damage done to the property of others.  You should take care to prevent further loss and to preserve evidence for the adjuster.  You should also advise a Trustee of the matter, as soon as possible, in order that the proper notification is given to the master coverage provider.