If you own a townhome and your roof develops a leak, you may be confused on the best way to handle it. This is because townhome roofs are contiguous, so your roof is also the roof for every other unit in the main building. The following guide can help you understand what to do if you are in this situation.
Townhomes are managed by a homeowner's association (HOA), which means you will be provided with governing guidelines at the time of purchase. These guidelines are also available upon request. These guidelines will detail what repairs are handled by the HOA and what steps are necessary to begin the work. The following are a few common scenarios.
Some HOAs allocate part of the annual dues into a repair or general fund, which is reserved for major repairs that are required by all or the majority of the units. In general, getting money from this fund will require taking the issue before the board and scheduling a contractor inspection and estimate in order to get the work approved.
Other HOAs will allocate funds from the general fund to a repair for a single unit if the board votes in favor. This means you will need to get a contractor estimate and then take your issue before the board at the next HOA meeting. Keep in mind that if the HOA pays for your repair out of the reserve fund, you may have to use an approved contractor.
In rare cases, the state of the roof is the sole responsibility of the unit owner. This means you will have to pay for all repairs out of pocket. If you need a replacement, you must get the agreement of the other unit owners in your building, and then you will all pay a share of the replacement costs out of pocket. Depending on the HOA rules, you may still need to use an approved contractor and install approved roofing materials.
Occasionally, it can be difficult to work with the HOA. This is why it is vital that you look over the guidelines so you can accurately pursue the responsible party. If the HOA is responsible, and they are dragging their feet on approving the work, you may need to call in legal representation to speed up the process—especially if your unit is experiencing damage. If necessary, schedule a temporary repair at least until approval occurs.
A more likely problem is when the unit owners are responsible. Sometimes the HOA can fine the other unit owners if they refuse to pay up for a needed repair. In other situations, you may need to work with a contractor to at least repair the roof over your unit while pursuing legal recourse against the reluctant owners.
For more help, talk to a roofing contractor that has experience working with townhomes, such as Liberty Exteriors LLC.