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Why Inspect the Roof of a Condominium

Real Estate Agents often find it unusual that CPM Real Estate Inspections always tries to inspect the roof over a condominium or townhouse. Many times their arguement is that the roof is maintained by the “Association”. This is not always true! Anyone buying a condominium or townhouse should insist on getting a copy of the governing documents, rules and regulations of the association. They should then carefully read those documents and see what they say about the responsibility that each owner may have towards installing or maintaining the roofs over each individual unit or common area structures.

Some documents clearly state that it is the responsibility of the individual owner to maintain their own roof. Other documents may state that the association is fully responsible for the maintenance or replacement of the roof.

If you are not an attorney it is best to seek the advice of one if your are not sure of what the documents say.

The financial status of the association can also affect a potential buyer. Even if the association is responsible for maintaining or replacing the roof it is good advice to check to see if there are adequate funds held in reserves for major projects like roof replacement.

Sometimes each owner is assessed additional amounts to cover a new roof. The association may not have collected enough over the years to cover a good new roof and there is a shortfall. Other problems can arise if the roof is destroyed during a storm and the insurance coverage falls short of the appropriate amount of funds.

CPM Real Estate Inspections tries to inspect all roofs to determine their condition and expected remaining life. While we can’t predict when a roof will fail, we can give the buyer a professional opinion on if the roof is early in its life or at the end of it and if the maintenance has been done properly.

While most associations hire professionals for roofing repairs and installations some don’t have people on their boards with enough knowledge to tell if they have received a good job or not. The timing of when a new roof is required is usually a judgement call and only reputable contractors and consultants should be sought out for advice.

CPM Real Estate Inspection reports advise the buyer of the condition of the roof from all perspectives (above and below) if they are safely accessible and we can obtain permission to view these areas. With this information in hand a buyer can research further with the association to determine if the necessary funds are or will be there when a new roof is needed.

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