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Subject: New Roofs Assesment
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FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/06/2021 11:28 AM  
Hello.
After 13 years it looks like we may have to re-do all the community roofs. The last time this was done , there was an outcry by homeowners with much smaller homes (1300 sq. feet) which required less materials, etc,compared with the majority of homes which are 2500 to 3000 Sq.Feet) yet, everyone was charged the same amount ($25000 per home, regardless of the size.) There were several residents who threatened a Class action lawsuit, and the HOA lowered the assessment for the smaller homes for the roof replacement costs after they obtained bids on the replacement costs, and determined that each of the smaller homes would pay $ 13.000, VS $25000+.

The present board wants everyone, to pay the same amount divided by the 182 community homes regardless of size.
From my understanding, The BY-Laws do not specifically address the roofing expenses as "Common". (See Below) The residents are again livid that the smaller homes have to pay the same.

One section of our by- laws state that: "Assessments for common expenses are to be shared EQUALLY by each homeowner by dividing the total expense by the number of properties in the community. "
Another segment says :"The HOA shall maintain and replace when required ALL Building Exteriors, including roofs", Yet there is no clear mention of the roof replacement being a Common expense.

Before this gets into a class action suit by residents, and opinion would be appreciated.
Thanks
AugustinD


Posts:1905


11/06/2021 11:33 AM  
Is the regular monthly assessment the same for each home? Or is the regular monthly assessment dependent on home size?

Often in covenants there is additional verbiage that states that a benefit to one building that is of a different size than another building may be assessed proportionately. Have you read the covenants closely for such verbiage?

Is this a Florida condo subject to FS 718 or a Florida non-condo subject to FS 720?
FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/06/2021 11:35 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 11/06/2021 11:33 AM
Is the regular monthly assessment the same for each home? Or is the regular monthly assessment dependent on home size?

Often in covenants there is additional verbiage that states that a benefit to one building that is of a different size than another building may be assessed proportionately. Have you read the covenants closely for such verbiage?

Is this a Florida condo subject to FS 718 or a Florida non-condo subject to FS 720?




The regular quarterly assesment is the same for all homes.
This is a Florida HOA. Not a Condo.

AugustinD


Posts:1905


11/06/2021 11:37 AM  
From an earlier thread by FredW5:
Posted By FredW5 on 12/18/2017 9:25 AM
Many residents are asking why they all pay the same maintenance fees as the many homes in our community that have no lawns to maintain, while others have large plots and lager square footage homes.
FredW5, is the HOA/COA to which you refer today the same as the one to which you referred above, back in 2017?

One response to these folks is: Because the covenants say so, and the courts say the covenants are contractual terms. If this is not acceptable to you, then unfortunately, you should not have bought here back when you were a buyer and had the covenants disclosed to you.
FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/06/2021 11:47 AM  
Thanks for your input. It is appreciated.
Here's a possible problem.
1: Homeowners have not always received copies of the covemants for several years since they changed management several years back.
2:A resident attorney mentioned that since a precedent was established back in 2008 (not 2017) by not equally assessing all homes, the residents have a good case for a class action suit.

JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


11/06/2021 11:51 AM  
Fred

Are these standalone homes? A case can be made that replacing a roof on a private home is not a common expense. Also it can be said the BOD set a precedent for roof replacement when prior they had two levels of pricing. Personally I think the two levels of pricing are fair.

I also question needing roofs replaced after 13 years and the cost of each.
FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/06/2021 11:58 AM  
Hi John.
The large homes are standalone homes. The smaller homes are not. some are attached town homes.

I have asked the board to hire a roof evaluation company to determine if they are in need of replacement. All agree.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:793


11/06/2021 12:28 PM  
We had a similar argument in my community. We have 1800sqft two story condos and 1300sqft one story condos. What people failed to realize is that the roof on the smaller condos are larger. I don't know if this applies to you but I think it is a common misconception.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


11/06/2021 12:44 PM  
Posted By JohnC46 on 11/06/2021 11:51 AM
Fred

Are these standalone homes? A case can be made that replacing a roof on a private home is not a common expense. Also it can be said the BOD set a precedent for roof replacement when prior they had two levels of pricing. Personally I think the two levels of pricing are fair.

I also question needing roofs replaced after 13 years and the cost of each.



Agree with John. It's a bit unusual for HOAs to replace roofs on stand-alone housing - usually that's a condo thing because the roofs are common elements (not part of individual units) but I remember seeing exceptions here.

There should be something in your CC&Rs that describes the physical property, what's owned by individual owners, and what's owned by the HOA (common elements). There should also be language describing owner responsibilities and HOA responsibility. If there's nothing in the CC&Rs, look at plat maps and deeds to get an idea of ownership.

It's too late for this go-around, but if roofs truly are an HOA responsibility, then this should be reflected in your reserve studies. If it were, then homeowners would have been paying higher assessments all along to fund the reserves. You wouldn't be looking at a special assessment and listening to howls from people who don't think it's fair.

(I actually agree with the complaining owners - it makes no sense for people with larger homes to pay the same for roof replacement as those with smaller ones. Usually equal assessments happen in communities where common expenses pay for things that benefit all owners equally - eg. roads and clubhouse. This clearly isn't happening with roofs.)

Read those CC&Rs!


JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


11/06/2021 12:51 PM  
Posted By FredW5 on 11/06/2021 11:58 AM
Hi John.
The large homes are standalone homes. The smaller homes are not. some are attached town homes.

I have asked the board to hire a roof evaluation company to determine if they are in need of replacement. All agree.



Fred

Look at the standalone homes pay for own their roof, whatever the cost and the attached townhomes divide the roofing cost by the number of units in the building. How could this be any fairer?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11659


11/06/2021 12:51 PM  
Posted By FredW5 on 11/06/2021 11:58 AM
Hi John.
The large homes are standalone homes. The smaller homes are not. some are attached town homes.

I have asked the board to hire a roof evaluation company to determine if they are in need of replacement. All agree.



Fred

Look at the standalone homes pay for own their roof, whatever the cost and the attached townhomes divide the roofing cost by the number of units in their building. How could this be any fairer?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


11/06/2021 1:00 PM  
Posted By FredW5 on 11/06/2021 11:47 AM
... snip...
2:A resident attorney mentioned that since a precedent was established back in 2008 (not 2017) by not equally assessing all homes, the residents have a good case for a class action suit.




Maybe, although you need a real legal opinion from your HOA attorney (who needs a heads up if there's a whiff of lawsuit in the air). If the HOA has been assessing in violation of the CC&Rs, then that sounds to me like grounds for a suit. However, this would have some serious consequences because it will pit neighbor against neighbor depending on who benefited from doing things wrong. And the notion on "benefit" is muddied by the fact that those who benefited from unequal assessments (the ones with smaller homes) are arguably being treated unfairly if all homes are assessed equally.

It may also be worth getting the attorney to review your CC&Rs to see if an amendment is in order. You can argue that the folks who bought smaller homes should have understood what they were buying. On the other hand, I think that one of the important principles of HOA and COA ownership is equal rights and responsibilities - in other words, the CC&Rs should not benefit one group of owners at the expense of another group, which is happening here.
FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/06/2021 1:12 PM  
Good point. I believe The square footage of the roof on the large homes may be larger than in the attached 2 or three home condos. I do think the cost of the 2, or 3 home condos ought to be divided by each of the owners. Interestingly, due to all the heavy rains we've had in Florida, my roof is leaking badly after attempts to repair the leaks in the past by HOA-Management.
FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/06/2021 1:13 PM  
I totally agree (As do some board members) However, our president is sticking by his equal cost distribution concept.
FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/06/2021 1:21 PM  
Kathy, thank you for your response.
There is nothing in the CCR's describing the physical property,the footage, etc.
As far as common elements,( Common areas) while mentioning that its the HOA's responsibility, there is no description in the CC&R Documents. (It obviously is described in the land records)

There is no assesment.(There is over 400,000 in the HOA reserves, slated for emergencies, and repaving our 3 streets. ). Actually each homeowner is to be billed for the roof replacement equally.

Be well.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/06/2021 2:56 PM  
Legally, we will need to follow the specific language in your CCRs under assessments. The language for special assessment will be within the paragraph describing assessments, or it will be in the next paragraph. Those specifics will need to be followed until amended.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/06/2021 4:04 PM  
Sorry if I missed it, Fred. Are you on the Board?

In some places it seems the Board agrees with the president's and in others (your 9:12 reply) some directors disagree with the prez. What does a Board vote reveal? Or does the president dictate everything?

We have la egal opinion on a similar matter (one group in our HOA was not paying their fair share for certain reserve components AND operating expenses). Our HOA attorneys wrote: that if we found one group was treated unfairly by being charged too much, the Board should correct the inequity. They termed this a matter of equitable legal principals.

Given your covenants' apparent silence of this topic, I totally agree with Cathy & other who suggest you get legal advice.

HenryS7
(Arizona)

Posts:73


11/06/2021 8:42 PM  
I will be very honest here. This is a thing for an attorney to review and make a determination upon, and the Board should follow whatever the attorney says.
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17841


11/07/2021 4:42 AM  
Fred,

Unfortunately, the previous boards punted this issue down the field. There should be a line item in the Reserves for roof replacement with everyone paying an equal share. If they had done this, there would likely be no need for a roof special assessment.


Without seeing all of your documents I can't say. However, based on what you posted, I would think that the costs should be shared equally. I don't think it's fair, but that appears to be what everyone agreed to (based on your posting).

I would suggest you take all your documents to a local attorney versed in contract law and obtain an opinion from them. This should be minimal in the costs of any legal action.


FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/07/2021 5:58 AM  
Hi Tim. Ive reviewed all the documents. There is nothing written specifically regarding reserves for Roofs.
See attached.
Thanks
TimB4
(Tennessee)

Posts:17841


11/07/2021 6:14 AM  
Fred,

The attachment didn't take.

I wouldn't expect there to be something that said the board should have reserves for a,b,c... I've never seen a document that said what is and isn't a reserve item (except for a reserve study).

Your posting that the Association is responsible for roof replacement would be enough for any board to say a line item in the reserves should be created to replace/repair roofs.

AugustinD


Posts:1905


11/07/2021 6:23 AM  
Posted By TimB4 on 11/07/2021 6:14 AM
Your posting that the Association is responsible for roof replacement would be enough for any board to say a line item in the reserves should be created to replace/repair roofs.
I agree. Typically what a reserve study company does is review every page of the CCRs and determine what is and what is not a reserve component. I have read a lot of CCRs. I have never seen CCRs that have a list of reserve components all on, say, a page of two.
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/07/2021 8:59 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 11/07/2021 6:23 AM
Posted By TimB4 on 11/07/2021 6:14 AM
Your posting that the Association is responsible for roof replacement would be enough for any board to say a line item in the reserves should be created to replace/repair roofs.
I agree. Typically what a reserve study company does is review every page of the CCRs and determine what is and what is not a reserve component. I have read a lot of CCRs. I have never seen CCRs that have a list of reserve components all on, say, a page of two.



Even Kerry should be able to tell you that's ain't true.
FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/07/2021 9:12 AM  
Sorry.perhaps I was not clear regarding a study. Its not a reserbve study. The HOA is hiring a "roofing condition Assessment Company" this week to aseess if the roofs actually need replacement.
As I mentioned, I dont believe at 13 years they ought to be replaced. .
https://waypointinspection.com/tile-roof-last/
MaxB4
(California)

Posts:1594


11/07/2021 9:19 AM  
Posted By AugustinD on 11/07/2021 6:23 AM
Posted By TimB4 on 11/07/2021 6:14 AM
Your posting that the Association is responsible for roof replacement would be enough for any board to say a line item in the reserves should be created to replace/repair roofs.
I agree. Typically what a reserve study company does is review every page of the CCRs and determine what is and what is not a reserve component. I have read a lot of CCRs. I have never seen CCRs that have a list of reserve components all on, say, a page of two.



In California, developers are required to submit a Form RE623 (Budget Worksheet).

https://www.dre.ca.gov/files/pdf/forms/re623.pdf
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


11/07/2021 9:34 AM  
Posted By FredW5 on 11/07/2021 9:12 AM
Sorry.perhaps I was not clear regarding a study. Its not a reserbve study. The HOA is hiring a "roofing condition Assessment Company" this week to aseess if the roofs actually need replacement.
As I mentioned, I dont believe at 13 years they ought to be replaced. .
https://waypointinspection.com/tile-roof-last/



You're right to be skeptical when a company has an interest in the outcome of their evaluation. Regardless of what they called themselves, if they do roofing work, they're not unbiased and were likely viewing you as a customer..

On the other hand, the quality of roofing materials and workmanship will affect their useful life, and HOAs tend to select the lowest bid for the work since homeowners will complain. In addition, roofs in Florida can be beaten up by repeated storms and hurricanes, which will also affect useful life. So your roofs may legit be showing premature wear.

I recommend getting a second opinion on the roofs and make it clear that you're looking for an opinion, not a bid on the work. You'll probably need to pay them for their time.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/07/2021 3:46 PM  
Are you on the board, Fred? I think I already asked this.

Why would the president, Fred, dictate who pays how much for what? Doesn't the whole Board vote on such matters?

You mention "reserves." Is it really reserves? Fred wrote: "There is over 400,000 in the HOA reserves, slated for emergencies, and repaving our 3 streets." Reserves should only be for components with predictable useful lives. So a real reserves analyst or specialists will not specify an "Emergency" line item in the reserve study. But are you saying you have no reserve study? If not what is this "account?" And why aren't roofs on it?

I'm feeling like we're getting incomplete or inaccurate info.

Now, if you did (and your HOA should!) have a reserve study done, the first one would be a Level 1 study, where the analyst comes on site and examines all of your common area items ("components") that have a estimated predictable life span and replacements cost. The analyst learns some of these things based on their experience in similar HOAs in your area, their own research of materials provided by manufacturers and suppliers, their interview with the property manager and maintenance or engineering staff if available.

In this Level 1 study, the certified reserve specialist or analyst reads the CC&Rs to see who is responsible for what. This task is in the contract our HOA has with our analyst. If the CC&Rs define an item as common area, it is a component for which the HOA should "reserve" funds for replacement & repair.

If CC&Rs have items in them that say they are owners' responsibility, the items do not go into the reserve study. Some CC&Rs like our soon-to-be restated one a has a nice Maintenance Matrix, which our analyst also recommended long ago.It lists various components and who is responsibile. It's much cleaner that the CC&Rs verbiage, which essentially says the same thing usually in an CC&R Article about Maintenance.

(In CA, projects need to send an estimate of what items will be in reserves to the DRE as a required part of their budget estimate for Reserve analysts may review that when an assn. is quite new, but I can't imagine any would bother with it years later. This has zero to do with Fred.)
FredW5
(Florida)

Posts:150


11/07/2021 6:28 PM  
Thanks for your response..

Ill make it brief, as I am inBroadcasting, not in a legal field perhaps as yourself.

Suffice it to say:

I have been on four HOAS in my community.

I provide input to the present HOA board members, especially as a very long time resident, and experienced in County and City matters for over 17 years.

Our president does not "dictate", but in this case is steadfast regarding redoing the roofs . He does not "Dictate" anything.. The costs were based on past experience of re-roofing.

Obviously the Board votes.

While it is appreciated that you defined your experience and knowledge on studies done, to my knowledge,there has never been a "reserves study" done. Apparently in this 30 year old community. assume they would know how the reserves have been utilized, and be proactive in determining what is needed in the future.

Again, I appreciate your taking the time to write at length regarding studies done, their levels of study, Maintenance, Matrix, etc.

My original, inquiry, was simply to obtain opinions from others who may have input from their own experience in the matter, which has brought me to the conclusion that the majority have suggested:

To obtain the proper, legal input from a knowledgeable local attorney.

I thank everyone who contributed , without feeling, as you do, that "I'm feeling like we're getting incomplete or inaccurate info."

Ill therefore be concluding this thread.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8720


11/07/2021 7:41 PM  
Best of luck to you & your HOA, Fred. With others and as stated earlier, your Board needs the advice of an HOA or contracts attorney.

(I'm not & haven't been in any legal field.)
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2588


11/08/2021 5:41 AM  
Fred may or may not be reading any more, but here is the problem in a nutshell: "to my knowledge, there has never been a "reserves study" done."

Which many regular posters have already figured out based on the community's apparent use of special assessments to fund things that may or may not be the HOA's responsibility, such as the roofs.

It sounds like Fred is not currently on the board, only advising the board. I hope he encourages the board to consult an HOA attorney so that they know where they stand. An HOA attorney will probably not provide advice to Fred since he is not on the board and has no authority to act on the HOA's behalf. It's good if homeowners understand this stuff, but the folks who really need to know are the ones who are in a position to determine assessments and sign contracts (and put the HOA at risk of a lawsuit when people figure out they've been assessed improperly, for example).
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