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Subject: Gutters as common elements
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PegM2
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:10


10/19/2018 7:13 PM  
Our Reserve Study designates the gutters and downspouts of each unit as common elements. We are a 55+ community and the developer's marketing and sales documents claimed all exterior maintenance was covered by the monthly assessment fee (excluding windows and doors). Our Declaration says the HOA is responsible for maintenance of all common elements and unit exteriors, roofs and siding (excluding windows and doors). The Board is saying the homeowners are responsible for cleaning, inspections and maintenance of their gutters. My question is: If the Reserve Study says the gutters and downspouts are common elements and the Declaration says maintenance of roofs and siding are the HOA's responsibility, how can the Board place the responsibility for maintenance on homeowners?


Thanks for any guidance and advice.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6397


10/19/2018 9:48 PM  
How, exactly, does your reserves study word what the HOA must do re: the the gutters? Repair, replace? or some other words?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8281


10/20/2018 5:55 AM  
Basically it breaks down to this... When you ask the "HOA" to be responsible, it means you and your neighbors pay for it. Which is via the HOA dues/budget. If you put the responsibility on the individual, then it doesn't come out the HOA budget. Of which you and your neighbors contribute.

So if they want the individual to pay, then it means they don't want to use everyone's money to pay for individual issue. So it's up to you and your neighbors if they want this to be an "common area" element of which everyone pays for. Some people may not agree to use HOA's funds for one person's issue. Others may say, this is agreed to and allow the money to come out of the HOA's budget.

Former HOA President
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3263


10/20/2018 6:48 AM  
Our Declaration says the HOA is responsible for maintenance of all common elements and unit exteriors, roofs and siding (excluding windows and doors). The Board is saying the homeowners are responsible for cleaning, inspections and maintenance of their gutters. My question is: If the Reserve Study says the gutters and downspouts are common elements and the Declaration says maintenance of roofs and siding are the HOA's responsibility, how can the Board place the responsibility for maintenance on homeowners?


Seems to me the board is incorrect. Highlight the documents that prove your case and submit it for a meeting. Maybe the board has evidence for not doing it.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


10/20/2018 9:30 AM  
Im with Steve ...

Gutters and downspouts get clogged ... when clogged they overflow and areas around them (roof, soffits, facias, walls, etc) become and stay wet ... leading to rot and the need to replace.

Requiring an owner to maintain these items is asking for trouble - far greater trouble than the maintenance costs of keeping the gutters and downspouts clear.

BTW - if this is a recurring problem, a one time assessment to cover the cost of gutter covers of some kind, should be considered. If the developer is still in charge, you will need to negotiate.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8419


10/21/2018 7:50 AM  
Peg

Were the gutters installed by the builder or were they homeowner add ons?
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


10/21/2018 9:45 AM  
John,

Great question - I hadn’t thought of that!
PegM2
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:10


10/21/2018 11:11 AM  
The gutters were installed by the builder. Thank you.
PegM2
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:10


10/21/2018 11:16 AM  
I want to thank everyone who responded.

My concern is we are a 55+ community and I don't think having senior residents climbing ladders to inspect and clean their gutters is a good ideas. Our monthly assessment is supposed to pay for maintenance (our Declaration says preventive maintenance) of the common elements.
PegM2
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:10


10/21/2018 11:17 AM  
The gutters were installed by the builder when the units were constructed.
RoyalpitA


Posts:0


10/21/2018 11:28 AM  
Posted By PegM2 on 10/21/2018 11:16 AM
I want to thank everyone who responded.

My concern is we are a 55+ community and I don't think having senior residents climbing ladders to inspect and clean their gutters is a good ideas. Our monthly assessment is supposed to pay for maintenance (our Declaration says preventive maintenance) of the common elements.




You may consider hiring an attorney to send a 'demand letter'.

Should the 'board' become recalcitrant you will need to determine how far you wish to 'push' the issue.

While you are, IMO, correct in your interpretation of the 'documents' the 'board' appears to be reluctant to actual fund the HOA's responsibilities.

This is a COMMON issue with 55+ communities.

Have you ever heard: "Why should I pay now, I may not be here tomorrow?"


Best of luck and next time:

CAVEAT EMPTOR


ps. at least y'all have no live young 'uns running about - merely the CONSTANT noise of the service and repair trucks and the amateur landscapers' equipment ALL DAY LONG
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:711


10/21/2018 8:43 PM  
Posted By PegM2 on 10/21/2018 11:16 AM
I want to thank everyone who responded.

My concern is we are a 55+ community and I don't think having senior residents climbing ladders to inspect and clean their gutters is a good ideas. Our monthly assessment is supposed to pay for maintenance (our Declaration says preventive maintenance) of the common elements.






I agree with you Peg, Your BOD are clueless and to suggest a senior citizen to climb a ladder to clean out the gutters is just ludicrous.
May I suggest that you mention the BOD installing a product called gutter helmet / gutter shield it is a product that goes over gutters that prevent leafs and crud from getting in the gutters in the first place.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:1243


10/22/2018 11:05 AM  
I don’t think the board is asking owners to actually do the cleaning - rather they are probably requiring owners be responsible for doing it.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:6397


10/22/2018 1:12 PM  
George is right, of course.No one can force anyone to climb a ladder.

But, per my waaaaay above, I'm still owner WHAT the reserves study says: Are the funds being set aside for Replacement? Repair? Paint? Maintenance?

Our reserves analyst often states a component in two ways: Car Entry Gates: Replace. xx years xx remaining and est. cost (inkling inflation).

Elsewhere: Car Entry Gates: Major Repair; Repaint, etc.

In our operating budget, there's a line item: Car Entry Gates: Minor Repairs.
SteveM9
(Massachusetts)

Posts:3263


10/22/2018 4:28 PM  
Sometimes its better for the HOA to take over maintenance that effects everyone.

Take cleaning dryer vents for example. Unit owners were responsible but were not doing it. HOA took it over and now they know its being done, thus minimizing the risk of fire that would burn down everyone's home. Homeowners are happy they dont have to deal with it and its cheaper when doing all the units than paying for it yourself.

I see the gutters as a similar situation. It will affect the entire building if water gets into the building from a clogged or broken gutter. Might as well make it a HOA responsibility. Do them all at the same time.
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