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Subject: Covenant Change on Roofing Responsibility
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Author Messages
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:6802


09/08/2017 6:32 PM  
Asking for advice and maybe even some specific Covenant wording.

Background.

We are standalone patio homes. We have 40 side by side, single story duplexes and 32 single family homes which are one and two story. The Covenant says the HOA is responsible normal wear and tear roof replacement plus exterior shell replacement which consists of brick (front of each home) and vinyl siding on the other 3 sides. Any damage (storm, accident, etc. replacement) is the responsibility of the home owner. We do pray for a major hail storm....LOL

The good news is none of this is expected to begin until 2027 (estimated 20 year life on the roofs) and continue thru 2035. The bad news is without a major dues increase, we will not have the money to undertake such much beyond 2030.

The BOD is considering changing the Covenants to pass these costs to owners. Personally I think a Covenant change will fly as people would not want to raise the dues to an appropriate funding level (about twice what they presently are so we can scare them good there) and it so far down the road for many (us old folks) that they will be willing to pass the buck. As I said, I think we can give this pig wings and make it fly.

My concern is the HOA maintaining control of what and when it is to be done to maintain our "common" look. We do not want multi color/style roofs, bricking, siding, etc. Also we have the issue of duplex owners disagreeing on when/what needed to be done.

Any advice and suggestions appreciated especially concerning us having control on when and what is to be done

Thanks


SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:1889


09/08/2017 7:16 PM  
You could take care of the multicolor stuff by establishing design standards (the roof must be this color, you must use X materials, etc.) Design standards don't have to be set in stone - every few years, you'll want to review them, as tastes and materials change and the standards can reflect that while keeping the original look and design of the community.Well, the HOA can establish design standards regarding the color, style, etc. of the roofing and siding - homeowners would have to comply with those standards or risk paying more to correct it.

If the homeowners are going to be responsible for replacement, I don't think they'll go along with "you MUST replace this stuff, say, 10 years from now" When those 10 years are up, you'd get fussing and feuding over "it doesn't look that bad", "I can't afford it" and so on, as well as the disputes between duplex owners (we need to replace the roof - no we don't!. When the roofing does get replaced, you might have issues with with people hiring half baked contractors or just using cheap materials.

If you don't want the mosiac look and people not replacing the roofs at what you think is the appropriate time, it will probably be best for the HOA to maintain control. I realize people may balk at paying more money, but you should have had a reserve study done to see how much you need to be saving and plan your budget accordingly. So it's pay a little now or brace yourself for really high expenses later - which some people may not afford if they're on a fixed income. May as well tell people the assessments WILL go up - such is the nature of home ownership. If they didn't want to pay more, they should have moved into an apartment or rented a house (where the landlord would hike up the price anyway to account for inflation, changes in the building code, etc.)
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14509


09/09/2017 1:15 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 09/08/2017 6:32 PM

Also we have the issue of duplex owners disagreeing on when/what needed to be done.




Being a town home development we have this issue with fences.

We specified that the common fence is a shared responsibility and the Association would send violation notices to both owners. The Association does not get involved with neighbor v neighbor disputes.


Fortunately, our town homes are staggered in height and setback. Therefore, we do not have that issue with roofs or exterior surfaces. Those are already maintained by the owner.

The key issue is to have very specific guidelines on style, material and color.


If the membership decides to change the covenants and transfer responsibility, then the Association needs to have proposals ready for the issues you described. Otherwise, they are still kicking the can down the road.

You should also check to see if such amendments will need mortgage holder agreement.
Something to definitely run by the attorney before bringing it to the membership.
JanetB2
(Colorado)

Posts:3355


09/10/2017 1:42 PM  
Tim hit the nail ... the major issue I would see is if you need to have Mortgage holders approval. The Mortgage holders will prefer for the HOA to continue to have responsibility and hold owner's feet to the fire.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:6802


09/10/2017 3:23 PM  
I assure you we will run everything by our attorney. I have advised the BOD on this and told them to be prepared for $4-7K in legal bills but in the long run, it will be money well spent.

The section in our Covenants concerning our responsibility is less then one page of 8pt type. While size does not matter, the legalese does. Our lawyer is top notch concerning SC HOA's. Initially he was a partner in a larger firm where he specialized in HOA's. He then founded his own firm with the majority of their income being HOA related. When we were interviewing MC's we found out the one we hired used the same firm. We are comfortable with his firm.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:1446


09/14/2017 12:19 PM  
We spoke with our attorney a few months ago about similar concerns. He said his firm prepares amendments for associations to shift responsibility for various things onto the owners or from the owners onto the association, "all the time". I would echo what others have said, you might need the approval of the mortagees and maybe even 100% of the owners to approve such a change. Your lawyer should know.

My HOA is likewise responsible for re-painting the shells every so often (8 years now, used to be 6) and re-roofing all 100 homes according to our reserves schedule. We also arrange for property and casualty insurance on the homes with the idea that the HOA will commence repairs or rebuilding ASAP after a casualty loss. We charge back the premium to the owners on a pro-rata basis that goes by square footage.

A few of us have considered what it would take to get the HOA out of the insurance business and the roof business. This is complicated due to our 30 duplexes (60 units) and 40 free-standing single family homes. What if you're in a duplex and it needs a new roof but your cheapskate neighbor thinks it doesn't? What it you've got your side insured up the wazoo and your attached neighbor on a fixed income has decided to skimp on her insurance coverage?

A sticky situation to unwind.

At least it sounds like you're prepared through 2030. We're on a much shorter timeframe here since the board is "surprised" that the 20 years the roofs were estimated to last back in 2007 is now looking more like 15 years. We're looking at coming up short. A very feisty couple of months lay ahead of us as we try to get through a 15% increase in assessments for next year. The kicker is, even that's not going to be enough to avoid special assessments.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:6802


09/14/2017 5:55 PM  
We will run the mortgage holder issue by our attorney. In the mean time I would appreciate first had information on this. I say first had not I think, I heard, I believe, etc. Hard facts please. Thanks
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:14509


09/14/2017 7:08 PM  
Sorry John, I can't help then.

I've never been involved in pushing something the Association is responsible for back onto individual members.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Covenant Change on Roofing Responsibility



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