S.N. from Montgomery County, Ohio writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I recently moved to a new condo. At my last condo, the roof leaked and I was responsible for the drywall damage inside. I’m trying to understand how I could avoid this at my new place. I have no idea the condition of my roof and the management company determines when roofs are replaced. How can I make sure my roof is in good shape so I don’t have to pay thousands again in repairs?
Mister Condo replies:
S.N., I am sorry for your misfortunes at your previous condo and I certainly hope that you don’t go through a similar problem at your new home. Common elements such as the roof are the responsibility of the association. You really don’t have any assurance that the roof has been properly maintained other than to request to see association records regarding roof installation and/or maintenance. Even then, a properly maintained roof can still fail. The single most important thing you can do as a homeowner is to insure your unit properly with a homeowner’s insurance policy. Most associations require that individual unit owners maintain such insurance but they don’t specify the exact coverage. That’s where an insurance professional is your best ally. Of course, the greater the coverage, the higher the premium. In your case, you have already seen how expensive water damage repairs can be. Arm yourself with a great policy. It won’t prevent the disaster but it might just give you great peace of mind knowing it won’t wipe you out financially if it does strike you again. All the best!