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Subject: Roof easement and permission to access.
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KarlP1
(Arizona)

Posts:7


05/18/2021 12:32 PM  
Greetings,

I am part of a multifamily community in the western US. We are connected units with adjoining party walls. Our governing documents establish a “blanket easement” across all of our units’ roofs for maintenance. I understand that the easement gives the HOA the ability to access our roofs for maintenance, but what are the rules about how and when the HOA utilizes this easement to access my property (the roof). Since the easement exists does that give them or their workers the ability to go up on my roof any time, day or night, without giving me notice?

I would like to tell the HOA that they need to give me 48 hours notice by email before they utilize the easement to gain access to my property. Do I have the authority to make this demand?

The maintenance of the roof itself is my responsibility.

Thanks for any help and input,

Karl
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/18/2021 12:45 PM  
Do the roofs actually belong to individual owners (ie. part of the "unit") or are they common elements? You should find information about this in your governing documents.

If the roofs are actually individually owned, what maintenance is the HOA doing? The nature of the work helps determine how disruptive the activity will be and how much notice is considered "reasonable".

For what it's worth, if workers are coming to clean our gutters or do other work in my condo community, we get a couple days notice. Most of the time we don't need to do anything like move porch furniture, it's just a "heads up" so that we don't freak out when people are walking around up there.
KarlP1
(Arizona)

Posts:7


05/18/2021 12:54 PM  
The roofs are NOT common elements. They are doing things like: repairing conduit that feeds lighting for the common area, but the conduit runs across my roof.

Right now they are giving no notice and saying that because the easement exists they do not need to give notice or ask my permission to walk on my roof.

Thanks for your input.
AugustinD


Posts:1920


05/18/2021 1:21 PM  
Posted By KarlP1 on 05/18/2021 12:32 PM
Since the easement exists does that give them or their workers the ability to go up on my roof any time, day or night, without giving me notice?

I would like to tell the HOA that they need to give me 48 hours notice by email before they utilize the easement to gain access to my property. Do I have the authority to make this demand?
I do not see anything in Arizona's Condo/HOA statutes that gives you this authority. Unless something to the effect of what you want is spelled out in your condo/HOA's covenants, then I doubt you have any authority to make this demand.

If there is a section of your covenants that talks about when work may be done (like between 8 AM and 6 PM Monday through Saturday), and the HOA/condo staff has contractors on your roof outside these hours in a non-emergency situation, then you may be able to make this demand.

Arizona HOA/Condo statutes: https://www.carpenterhazlewood.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/CHDB-AZ-Statutes-Book-2019-2020.pdf
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


05/18/2021 1:43 PM  
Karl

Why do you want such notification?
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


05/18/2021 1:46 PM  
Karl

You local jurisdiction building code or noise abatement codes may provide some relief for you. In our community, no contractor construction work may begin M-F prior to 7:00 AM and must end by some other time, 7:00 PM I think. There are tighter restrictions on Saturday and Sunday.

Homeowners are generally exempt from the construction restrictions until a 10:00 PM noise abatement requirement kicks in.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:783


05/18/2021 1:49 PM  
John

I can tell you one reason owners would like to know people will be on the roof: two of our client associations have skylights which are mounted above hallways which connect bedrooms and bathrooms.

It could be somewhat startling to all concerned if someone is unclothed walking to the bedroom and the AC contractor crew is directly above.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2599


05/18/2021 1:50 PM  
Even if notice isn't required - and it may not be because of the easement - I'd consider it a courtesy and do it anyway. Depending on what work is going on, owners may want to cover stuff on their patios or not get caught sunbathing when the workers show up.

Maybe if the homeowner frames this as a request for a courtesy, rather than a demand, they may get better results.
KarlP1
(Arizona)

Posts:7


05/18/2021 2:03 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 05/18/2021 1:43 PM
Karl

Why do you want such notification?




If workers from the association are on my roof I am concerned that they may damage my roof. I would like notice so I can observe what they are doing up there to protect my property. For example, what if they need to secure a piece of conduit and screw it into my roof without waterproofing the attachment penetration properly. If they do this without my knowledge while I am out of town serious damage could occur to my property through water leaks, etc.





DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1689


05/18/2021 2:36 PM  
Unless the easement gives you the right to ask for prior notice, I don't think you can. Do you have the actual text of the easement? Unfortunately, they are often pretty generally worded, such as: "The association is granted a wall and fence easement across the rear 5 feet of lots 1-12". This does not give the homeowner much say in how and when the easement is used.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


05/18/2021 4:41 PM  
I can see your concerns, KarlP. I also agree with others that the HOA probably has no requirement to notify Owners when they're going to be on the roof. I assume it's not frequently.

Still I think it's worth a try to write a nice letter to your board via your property manager requesting they place on their open meeting agenda consideration of establishing a written policy to give residents 24 hours notice when workers will be on the roof, and that the hours for workers to be on the roof are weekdays except national holidays from 8:00am to 5:00pm except for emergencies.

If it goes on the agenda, my understanding is that in AZ, owners may comment on each and every agenda item during open meetings.

I'm in a condo building too, and the hours/day noted above are when we allow approved architectural work by owners and common area work to be done. The HOA must give us 24 hours notice if they must enter our separate interest condos and the hours are the same (except, of course, for emergencies.)

Btw, Karl, one way you can keep track of work on your roof is to read the monthly financials and look for invoices or disbursements re: work on conduits, etc. on the roofs.
KarlP1
(Arizona)

Posts:7


05/19/2021 8:13 AM  
Thank you all for your input. It is very helpful.
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