First, the facts. Birds’ nests are dirty, they attract bugs, and they could pose a health hazard if spores from the droppings gets sucked into a building’s ventilation system, according to Dan Brady, a project manager at Bell Bird Control in Fairfield, N.J. “They build their nests (in vents) and lay their eggs and nobody can get them,” Brady tells the Ask Real Estate column in the New York Times.
At a condominium in Larchmont, N.Y., where heating and cooling units in the apartments are vented through louvers built into the building’s brick facade, a unit-owner wants to know who’s responsible for removing birds’ nests from the louvers – the unit-owner of the condo board?
Unless a building has central air conditioning, HVAC equipment is considered part of the individual apartments rather than the building. So repairs and maintenance would be the unit owners’ responsibility, says attorney Lisa Smith, a partner at Smith, Gambrell & Russell. “Although in this case the louver is separate and apart from the cooling-heating unit, it will most likely be considered part of the assembly as it is necessary in order to operate the equipment.”
Brady suggests using netting or mesh to keep birds out of the louvers, which a handyman could install from inside the apartment.
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