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Subject: Roof repair: HOA or owner?
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MalcolmM1
(Colorado)

Posts:4


02/14/2018 4:45 AM  
Hello. Our HOA is responsible for the maintenance, repair, and replacement of roofs in our 60-unit SFR community. Homeowners are required to carry insurance on those roofs.

The question is, how do we reasonably determine when a repair is an insurable event (and responsibility of a homeowner) or a maintenance/end-of-life repair (responsibility of the HOA)?

Example: these are 20-year-old roofs with "25-year" shingles. One unit lost a section of shingles this summer, likely in a wind event. Repair is $2,000. The roof has some life left in it otherwise, unknown, but let's say 5 years. Full replacement will probably be $7,000 to $9,000 assuming no underlying issues.

Who pays?

One argument would be: this is an insurable event, so it's the homeowner's problem. The other argument is: these are old roofs, it's time for the HOA to repair/replace them. The homeowner's insurer is likely to argue the latter, and besides, due to deductible, the owner probably wont claim anyway.

"Repair and replace" seems pretty straightforward, right, this is a repair, so the HOA pays, right? Except then I wonder why owners even bother insuring the roofs.

So, next I say: if these were new two-year-old roofs, and a major windstorm came through and completely shredded the roof, we would not be talking about this, it would be a claim for the homeowner to deal with their insurance. On the other end of the spectrum, if the roof was in really bad shape from age right now, the HOA would probably use this event as the opportunity to step in and replace the entire roof.

So, our problem is: between these two extremes, we need a policy to decide who pays for the repair, when it might be insurable damage and might be age, and there's probably no concrete way to decide which.

Thanks.



[here's excerpts from the declarations]

Under Section 2.12, the final sentence of that section states “although they are maintained by the Association, the front yards and residence exteriors and roofs in Thompson Corner are not Common Areas.” Section 2.13 discusses expenses in the community that may be charged as common expenses – in subsection (h) of that section, it includes the cost of “repairing and replacing the roofs on such residences, and reasonable reserves for such repainting or residing and for such roof repair and replacement.”

Finally, Section 3.3(b) states that the Association “shall be responsible for…(iv) repairing when necessary and periodically replacing the roofs on such residences.”

Regarding insurance, the Owners are responsible for carrying hazard insurance on the roofs. Under Section 9.16(m) of the Declaration, Owners are required to insure “furnishings and other items of personal property belonging to a Lot Owner or Occupant, public liability insurance upon each Lot, and hazard insurance coverage on the Improvements constructed on Lots...”
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2156


02/14/2018 3:07 PM  
This is why one has insurance to duke this stuff out - have this homeowner file a claim with his/her own insurance. It will contact the association's insurance and then you'll find out.
MalcolmM1
(Colorado)

Posts:4


02/14/2018 4:49 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 02/14/2018 3:07 PM
This is why one has insurance to duke this stuff out - have this homeowner file a claim with his/her own insurance. It will contact the association's insurance and then you'll find out.




I like that as a strategy, but it may not work as a policy.

Also FYI: the HOA does not carry any insurance on the homes whatsoever. The homeowner owns the entire home, but the HOA replaces the roofs.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2087


02/14/2018 9:30 PM  
Malcolm,I don't want to derail your thread with off-topic issues but can I ask how your arrangement handles satellite dishes on the roofs? My understanding is the FCC's OTARD rule say you can't prohibit owners from installing them. But since your association maintains the roofs and replaces them periodically, does that exempt you from the rule? My HOA is struggling with the issue. Basically we wonder what would happen if we undertook roof repairs on a residence and found that an owner's satellite dish installation was the cause of the problem. We're considering applying to the FCC for a determination that we can restrict the installation of satellite dishes on the roofs since the HOA bears the cost of repairs and re-roofing even though the residences' roofs are not common property.

Thanks if you care to respond and good luck with your insurance questions. My HOA not only repairs and replaces the roofs, but also carries the insurance on them (even though the owners own them).
MalcolmM1
(Colorado)

Posts:4


02/15/2018 6:10 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 02/14/2018 9:30 PM
Malcolm,I don't want to derail your thread with off-topic issues but can I ask how your arrangement handles satellite dishes on the roofs? My understanding is the FCC's OTARD rule say you can't prohibit owners from installing them. But since your association maintains the roofs and replaces them periodically, does that exempt you from the rule? My HOA is struggling with the issue. Basically we wonder what would happen if we undertook roof repairs on a residence and found that an owner's satellite dish installation was the cause of the problem. We're considering applying to the FCC for a determination that we can restrict the installation of satellite dishes on the roofs since the HOA bears the cost of repairs and re-roofing even though the residences' roofs are not common property.

Thanks if you care to respond and good luck with your insurance questions. My HOA not only repairs and replaces the roofs, but also carries the insurance on them (even though the owners own them).





We have not had to confront the dish issue. They are mounted usually on the fascia at the gable end and not on the roof itself, or mounted on the siding. We do have several solar panel installations though, and have made clear that any issues and incremental costs at re-roofing fall on the owner. We'll see how that pans out.

Adding HOA insurance on the roofs strikes me as taking a step towards taking over the roofs entirely. It is at least simpler....
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7503


02/15/2018 7:50 AM  
We are single family homes and our Covenants call for the HOA to replace/repair roofs based on normal wear and tear. Owners are responsible for any damage such as storm damage which means owners carry insurance. Our Covenants allow the HOA to control materials, colors, etc. so one cannot willy nilly replace/repair their own roof without association approval.

An aside. We are working on removing the HOA roof responsibility from our Covenants.

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2087


02/16/2018 1:31 AM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 02/15/2018 7:50 AM
An aside. We are working on removing the HOA roof responsibility from our Covenants.

That's what some of us here want to work toward. Getting the HOA out of the roof repair/replace/insure business would simplify life greatly. The homeowners are, in theory, responsible for inspecting their roofs and attics so that issues can be nipped in the bud before they grow serious. But with the HOA doing repairs, re-roofing periodically and also handling the insurance there's little to no incentive for the homeowners to do that. It's a huge grey area for us because neither our docs nor the FL building code define "roof". There's a roof deck and a roof covering, but "roof" has no clear meaning and it's a source of confusion and frustration and anger too frequently
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7503


02/16/2018 4:44 AM  
Posted By GenoS on 02/16/2018 1:31 AM
Posted By JohnC46 on 02/15/2018 7:50 AM
An aside. We are working on removing the HOA roof responsibility from our Covenants.

That's what some of us here want to work toward. Getting the HOA out of the roof repair/replace/insure business would simplify life greatly. The homeowners are, in theory, responsible for inspecting their roofs and attics so that issues can be nipped in the bud before they grow serious. But with the HOA doing repairs, re-roofing periodically and also handling the insurance there's little to no incentive for the homeowners to do that. It's a huge grey area for us because neither our docs nor the FL building code define "roof". There's a roof deck and a roof covering, but "roof" has no clear meaning and it's a source of confusion and frustration and anger too frequently




Geno

Refresh my memory. What type structures are yours? We have two types. 40 side by side, single story, single family homes more commonly know as a duplex and 32 one and two story single, standalone homes thus 112 owners.

We have quotes of $450K to replace all 72 roofs over a period of 7 years. This project would start in 2027 but we will not have the money for it unless we near double dues. We have begun to discuss a Covenant change to remove this burden from the association and place it on the owners. We think the due increase will scare them into approving the change.
MalcolmM1
(Colorado)

Posts:4


02/16/2018 7:04 AM  
I'm curious why HOA's got into roofs in the first place, unless there was condo/townhome style shared ownership. Seems like if there are only aesthetic concerns, that could have been handled through DRC without getting into maintenance role.

That said, it seems to be that if the HOA is in charge of roofs, you can make sure they will get done. I would be willing to bet that in any given neighborhood, 10% of the owners will put it off way too long, and in a down economy, that number goes up to 30% deferring maintenance well past deadlines. Of these, a certain portion will let it go until the water damage is severe, and perhaps have to walk away from the house, unable to afford the major remediation now required, which at that point might approach 1/3 the value of the house. Next thing you know, a fifth of your places have been purchased by bottom feeders, are peeled off and tented for six months of repairs, and then eventually put into the rental market.

When the HOA gets out of doing the roofs, they have to move into the role of enforcing the roofs, on a case by case bass. Which frankly sounds like more headache than it is worth to me. Seems like you'll be pretty much in perpetual enforcement mode with one owner or another, arguing over the degree of curling and shingle loss on their roof.

I don't really understand the economic argument for devolving though. In fact, it ought to be cheaper on net for owners to do the roofs via collective purchasing via their HOA, it will cost more for owners to do it alone. The only way it is cheaper therefore, is if the HOA allows owners to do their roofs on a longer schedule and/or to lower standards than the HOA does. So to be fully truthful, a policy of devolving an HOA out of roof maintenance is also likely to be a de facto lowering of standards of care.

Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that many owners find this sort of left-pocket/right-pocket math unconvincing.

In any case, this is moot for our association. We are deed restricted with appreciation caps, and so the way the it works, owners can't recover the cost of a roof. To change the arrangement, we'd have to change the deeds.
GuyM1
(Ohio)

Posts:222


02/16/2018 10:27 AM  
Hi Geno
What I would do is
1- Homeowner to be responsible for maintenance, repair, replacement, and any damages occurred from the mounting of satellites on the roofs. Also, homeowner responsible for removal and replacement of satellite's when roofing needs to be repaired or replaced which must be done by dish company at owners expense.

I would just have it written to cover all damages to the HOA roofing like something above.
GuyM1
(Ohio)

Posts:222


02/16/2018 10:38 AM  
Hi Malcolm
I would say the Homeowners insurance will cover it. But here's a thought since the roof is close to its life cycle you both could work out a deal and kill two birds with one stone. Look at it this way HOA saves money from the total cost of a new roof and the Homeowner saves the deductible they have on their policy hopefully only $500. If the deductible is higher then you may need to negotiate that too. Think it may be a win-win for both!
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