My condominium Board of Directors do not consider the outside of my terrace rail windows as non accessible and therefore will not clean them. I have contacted five companies to come and clean the outside of my terrace rail glass, and they all tell me the same thing. It is up to the condo corporation to clean inaccessible windows. Can the condo board refuse to clean my inaccessible windows?
R and K
Response from Toronto Condo News
We’ve reached out to Michael Grist of Excel Projects (Ontario) (excelprojects.ca), which provides general and window cleaning services to high-rise communities, for expert advice.
Cleaning of the inside portion of windows and window walls is a resident responsibility as is accessible outdoor glass such as on a balcony or terrace. When residents fail to keep the interior of their windows clean, outside window cleaning services have difficulty doing their job well.
Cleaning of inaccessible windows in a high-rise building is an obligation of building management. Its purpose is to minimize the damaging effects of traffic congestion, dirt, birds, air pollutants, pollen and weather, all of which end up on condo windows. Rain, which contains dirt and other stuff, adds to this buildup. The ideal window cleaning schedule for large urban settings is about six times a year. Since window cleaning is costly, most buildings likely limit it to twice a year.
Cleaning of outward facing balcony or terrace barrier glass is a responsibility of building management. There is danger posed to residents of hanging over a rail and reaching down to clean these hard-to-reach spaces. Should cleaning supplies be dropped, passersby below are at risk of injury.
The lifespan of windows and glass not regularly cleaned is reduced at which time the corporation becomes obligated to replace them at greater cost.
The Condo Archives maintains a section on Windows (https://tocondonews.com/archives-category/windows) and how they impact on the high-rise home. Specific articles on window cleaning in the Condo Archives include:
Should your condo corporation refuse to clean these inaccessible windows or glass, you may want to contact the Condominium Authority of Ontario. They can advise on if this is a governance issue for which you can submit a dispute to the Condominium Authority Tribunal.
Best of luck with this.