Who Is Responsible for HOA Roof Damage Repair?

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S.H. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I live in a townhouse that is part of an HOA with bylaws originally written similar to a condominium association. Our roof is clearly considered a common element and is maintained and repaired by the association. I recently had to replace my unit’s air-conditioning line set that runs from the roof (compressor) to a utility room on our ground floor (evaporator coil and fan). There were some repairs that were required at the site where the line set penetrates the roof. Is it clear how this sort of roof repair would be handled? I assumed this would be taken care of by the association but I am being told otherwise. Thanks in advance.

Mister Condo replies:

S.H., it really depends on who is responsible for the air conditioning line and associated maintenance, which I am guessing is you, the unit owner. If the damage to the roof was caused by excess run off from the line, the association could argue that the resultant damage is a direct result of the air conditioning line being placed on top of the association-owned roof. When governing documents are silent on such matters, it is usually time to get the attorneys involved. Your attorney would argue that the roof is the expense of the association. The association’s attorney will argue that your air conditioning line caused extra wear and tear on the roof so it is your expense. Unless the money is significant enough to warrant this type of legal battle, I think I’d pay for the roof and be happy I had air conditioning. Keep cool!

3 thoughts on “Who Is Responsible for HOA Roof Damage Repair?

  1. If the documents are silent it’s better to involve reason than attorneys. As a clear legal answer probably does not exist, what does exist is president how has the association treated others with a similar repair. If that does not work try to negotiate a reasonable solutions. remember the association does not have any money of it’s own so if it pays its paying with your money and that of your fellow owners and the same is true for legal expenses except you will pay your attorney and you and your fellow owners will pay the association attorney. In this case the cost of the repair may be less that the legal fees involved.

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