J.B. from Cook County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
How can we make our condo board install new roofs? Almost every top floor condo has had roof leaking that is damaging their unit.
Mister Condo replies:
J.B., I am sorry that your condo board has allowed the roof to fall into such disrepair. Typically, when I hear such stories, they are almost always followed by there being no money in the Reserve Fund to pay for the repairs because the common fees were kept too low in preceding years. It is all too common a story I am afraid. The bottom line is that the roof needs to be repaired, maybe even replaced at this point if water intrusion is a common occurrence. There is only one place for the money to come from and that is the unit owners. Either a Special Assessment or an HOA loan is likely going to be how the money is raised. This will be a burden on the homeowners but there is little other choice. Additionally, the leaky roof is likely only one item than has been neglected. Most likely there will need to be a significant increase to the common fees to start funding the association at necessary levels so that all maintenance can be performed. Common fees aren’t meant to be low or set at a certain level and never raised. Common fees are derived from careful planning of what the association costs are now and what the costs are to replace and maintain common elements over time. My gut is 30% or more increase of fees is likely needed and even more over time. Good luck!