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Subject: Inspecting Construction
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Author Messages
JasonB13
(Florida)

Posts:37


02/08/2018 5:40 PM  
When someone does construction in their unit, so most HOA monitor or inspect the work to make sure that all of the proper permits are applied for? Contractors tend to lie, and homeowners certainly want to try to avoid the tedious process of dealing with the local city or county.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2291


02/08/2018 6:17 PM  
We don't. It's the homeowner's responsibility to hire licensed contractors. For any job that requires a permit, the county sends an inspector to sign off on it. The HOA stays out of it. Case in point, a couple of years ago a homeowner hired a handyman to do some electrical work. He wasn't a licensed electrician. Some neighbors - not the HOA - told the homeowner that wasn't a good idea, but the owner went ahead anyway. The risk is on the homeowner and not the HOA's business to get involved in a homeowner's poor decisions.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:468


02/09/2018 12:18 AM  
It depends Jason, roughly how many units? are you in a high-rise? I worked security in a high-rise and the HOA had strict post orders on who was allowed through the doors. Only verified contractors was allowed to perform maintenance and repairs to units. But that don't stop a "trusted" vendor from Fing up.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2231


02/09/2018 6:50 AM  
We're like Geno's community - homeowners are responsible for getting the proper permits, if required, as well as prior approval from the board for exterior changes, if appropriate. It's true that contractors lie, so if this is YOUR house, you need to take the initiative and verify before anyone does anything to your house. Even if it is a pain in the butt, but then again, why do people expect home ownership to be easy???
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/09/2018 8:52 AM  
Ah, It's Jason. You're talking about condo units, right? and this relates to your last post when you were certain someone was doing unauthorized work in their unit. In fact, I believe you said they "gutted" it?

I think I asked you if:

Your HOA has an ARC that must approve certain kinds of work in units? You didn't reply.

Per our CC&Rs, the unit owner must learn if permits are required for the kind of work they want to do.
JasonB13
(Florida)

Posts:37


02/09/2018 9:57 AM  
It seems to me that trusting the homeowner is a risky policy. Suppose a homeowner hires a "licensed" contractor who is a hack (lots of those around) who does the homeowner a favor by not making them wait 2 months for a permit. They install a bathroom and do a poor job? Or do a demo and don't properly cap a gas line. Explosions and floods are bad for the community.

The truth is that everyone tries to get away with doing work without applying for permits, not because they're bad people, but because they're a PIA and they make a 2 week project take 3 months. However not checking if the work needs a permit means that much work that SHOULD require an inspection likely doesn't get inspected. That puts the community
at risk for leaks, fires etc. I'd think its in the best interest of the Association to know what's being done when it's major construction. Maybe not when a guy comes in for a day or 2, but when there's a dumpster and guys banging away for a month. It seems irresponsible
to not get a look at what's going on.

And to the people who KEEP ASKING if there something in the docs; if it was in the docs I WOULDN'T NEED TO ASK your opinion.
FredS7
(Arizona)

Posts:836


02/09/2018 10:25 AM  
Monitoring or inspecting the work means that you need someone who knows HOW to inspect. And it means setting up a mechanism for getting access, etc. AND it means taking responsibility for problems if the HOA "passes" a particular project.

A can of worms that it is best not to open.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/09/2018 10:50 AM  
Jason, perhaps the acronym ARC is unfamiliar to you. I asked if your HOA has an Architectural Review Committee. Most HOAs do and our CC&Rs in our high rise require one. Does your HOA have such a committee or not?? If not, does your HOA Board of Directors fulfill that role???

If neighbors or staff hear a lot of noise form a condo that has not gone through our ARC approval procedure, with 24-hour notice to the owner, our PM, board members or ARC members may enter that unit & e inspect it. Owners can be heavily fined for doing unauthorized work and may even be required to put the unit back in its original condition. In my 11 years on the board, only one owner was called to hearing on this, who had ARC approval, but tried to sneak in extending a gas line so they could have a gas dryer (We have gas ranges & fireplaces only).

Now that our towers are 27 y.o., there's almost constant upgrading (about 4 units now of 200+) & occasional complete gutting.

If you want your HOA to have stricter guidelines or requirements, you need to work on it with other Owners in your HOA and persuade the Board.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2291


02/10/2018 7:04 PM  
Posted By JasonB13 on 02/09/2018 9:57 AM
And to the people who KEEP ASKING if there something in the docs; if it was in the docs I WOULDN'T NEED TO ASK your opinion.

If I'm having work done on my home that's not violating any covenats or rules and someone starts asking questions or demanding information, I'd tell them it's none of their business.
JeffT2
(Iowa)

Posts:381


02/10/2018 10:21 PM  
Posted By JasonB13 on 02/09/2018 9:57 AM
... when there's a dumpster



What's in the dumpster? It should tell you what they are working on. Take some pictures.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7635


02/11/2018 6:32 AM  
I am also nervous about one doing work in a multi unit building, especially a high rise. How does one know they are not removing a load bearing wall?

I want approval and inspection rights for the association.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/11/2018 8:51 AM  
Yes, JohnC, all the high rises in my 'hood, give the HOA rights to inspect. and it's not only about structural integrity like load bearing walls, it's also to make certain that hard-surface flooring meets our ARC standards to avoid noise transference.

My error above: our buildings are 17 y.o.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:525


02/11/2018 10:25 AM  
The important question is do your governing documents give you the authority to inspect the work and require proof of permits? If your documents don't specifically give you that authority then it is between the owners and the government entity requiring the permits. It's also possible your state law gives you that authority.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/11/2018 11:56 AM  
Jason claims here & elsewhere that his HOA's docs are silent. But some of our FL posters may have insights into FL condo laws.

I should have been more specific about my high rise HOA--the HOA's ability to inspect is in our CC&Rs.

If an emergency (ager leaking form one floor to another), no advance notice is required.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:5535


02/11/2018 11:57 AM  
Jason claims here & elsewhere that his HOA's docs are silent. But some of our FL posters may have insights into FL condo laws.

I should have been more specific about my high rise HOA--the HOA's ability to inspect is in our CC&Rs.

If an emergency (water leaking from one floor to another), no advance notice is required.
MarkM31
(Washington)

Posts:367


02/11/2018 8:50 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 02/11/2018 6:32 AM
I am also nervous about one doing work in a multi unit building, especially a high rise. How does one know they are not removing a load bearing wall?




Well for one, a modern residential high-rise doesn't have any bearing walls that aren't made out of concrete. The biggest danger to modern high rises are improperly sealed post tension tendons, and trades hitting a PT tendon with a roto-hammer or power driven fastener. And of those, the first occured during erection of the building, and the second can occur to any trade not careful, properly trained of just unlucky. And inspections would neither stop nor catch a hit PT cable.
TimM11


Posts:182


02/12/2018 9:41 AM  
Posted By JasonB13 on 02/09/2018 9:57 AM

The truth is that everyone tries to get away with doing work without applying for permits, not because they're bad people, but because they're a PIA and they make a 2 week project take 3 months.




Jeez, remind me to never buy a home in Florida. Around here in MN, every half-decent contractor will pull permits when it's required, and they always get them right away.
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