Featuring America's Home Inspector: Nationally Syndicated Columnist, Barry Stone

The House Detective by Barry Stone, Certified Home Inspector

Dear Barry: I own several condos in a large building. Recent roof leakage caused $4,100 in damages to my unit. The homeowners association (HOA) has agreed to repair the roof but will not repair the damage to my unit. Part of the problem is their neglect of normal roof maintenance. They allowed pine needles to accumulate on the roof and in the gutters, and this affected roof drainage. Is there any way to make them repair my unit? Tom

Dear Tom: If the HOA has not maintained the roof in a responsible manner, that weighs against their disclaimer of liability for consequential damages. You should check the documents that govern your condo complex to see how HOA responsibilities are spelled out. If the HOA is required to maintain the roof, that increases their liability for damages to your unit. If they remain firm in their refusal to make interior repairs, you might test the issue in small claims court. For a nominal filing fee and a few hours of inconvenience, you might be able to enforce your position.