RealManage Insight

A Practical Guide to Community Association Roof Repairs

by Terry Bascher on Mar 11, 2021 9:45:00 AM

Most people would not consider roofing to be a hot-button issue unless managing a community association. HOAs and Condo Associations commonly find themselves facing conflicts regarding community roofing. Who pays for HOA roofing? How can members stay compliant with community roofing standards? Can you hire your contractor, or do they need board approval? These are challenges to tackle as a community with a practical and informed approach.

Whether you are managing a sprawling neighborhood, a tidy street of townhomes, or a compact condo building, it's essential to know precisely how to handle your roofing concerns before the next major storm, roof re-installation, or homeowner renovation. Here is everything your council needs to know about community roof repairs:

Who Pays for Community Roof Repairs?

One of the biggest debates in community maintenance is who pays for roofing. A vast topic when homeowners share a roof either within a stacked condo or between connected townhomes. While your HOA may have individual policies regarding roofing (check your governing documents first), here are the standard divisions of roofing expense based on the types of homes in your community.

Condo Buildings - Association

In a condo, any shared feature maintains by the association - including the roof. Vertical condo buildings create a scenario where all members share the same roof for their units. It means that the roof qualifies as a shared space, and the association is responsible for its maintenance costs. It is also why condo association dues tend to be a little higher - so that owners can pool resources together to pay for shared features like roofing and siding.

Adjoined Townhouses - Homeowners (Usually)

The trickiest situation is when your community makes adjoined townhouses. However, because each member owns an individual (if adjoined) plot of land, homeowners are usually responsible for their roofing. However, suppose your association insists that the roof be uniform from home to home. In that case, you may also need to take responsibility for coordinating and funding regular roof maintenance, repairs, and eventually re-installation.

Individual Homes - Homeowners

In neighborhoods where individual homes will not adjoin, homeowner-members are responsible for their roofing expenses. It comes hand-in-hand with the freedom of their yard and an entirely private home structure. However, members are also responsible for roofing that conforms to the community style and quality rules.

Shared Community Buildings - Association

If your non-residential community buildings need roofing, then this is the responsibility of the association. For example, if your pool house or clubhouse needed roofing, this is part of what the members pay for in dues to keep in good condition for the neighborhood.

Homeowner Challenges Finding the Right Roofer

Of course, paying for roofing is hardly the end of the debate in most communities.

Most HOAs have a set standard for roofing that homeowners are required to adhere to. There is no problem if the association pays for (and therefore hiring roofers for) all community roofing. However, if your members have individual homes and are responsible for their roofing, they may struggle to find roofing contractors who can conform to the community's strict requirements.
Your community may require shingles of a specific material and color, requiring a specific brand with hail-resistance and anti-fungal treatment. But not all roofers offer the same services (or shingle suppliers). Then can make it difficult for homeowners to conform to roofing requirements - especially for emergency roofing like post-storm repairs.

Recommending Association-Approved Roofers for Your Members

The solution is for your board to find and recommend the right roofing contractors for the entire community.  Identify one or more roofing contractors who are capable of meeting your community roofing needs. It's best to choose roofers who are already familiar with your community and have successfully adhered to the community roofing rules in the past.

Then make these recommendations available to your homeowners. This way, members can count on association-approved rovers who already know the ins-and-outs of keeping their homes CC&R-compliant while also providing the fast and professional roofing they need.

Adapting Your Roofing Policies for Practical Use

Last but not least, consider whether your roofing policies need to be adapted. If your association requires a shingle that is no longer manufactured or there are now higher-quality shingles available, consider changing this policy to better the whole community. If your association would instead handle all townhouse roofs as one, you may need to increase annual dues to take that worry out of member's hands communally. And if your members are struggling to find the right roofer, consider linking recommended roofers on your homepage and next to your roofing policy rules.

Is your community association facing roofing troubles? With the right resources and an open approach, you can resolve the issue with homeowners and the community as a whole. Contact us for more helpful homeowner association management tips.

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