Living in a homeowners association comes with plenty of advantages, such as improved curb appeal and increased property values. But, it also means having to adhere to the community’s rules and seek approval for architectural changes. This includes an HOA roof replacement.
The Importance of Getting Approval for an HOA Roof Replacement
One of a homeowners association’s primary goals is to preserve property values. It does this by enforcing strict rules, which often involve homeowner obligations that aim to maintain the appearance of the neighborhood. More often than not, HOA developments follow a uniform theme. And a house that strays from this established concept can have a negative impact on the aesthetics of the community.
Architectural restrictions, though, go beyond just what color paint homeowners can use or how tall a fence can be. Many associations also extend these restrictions to cover roofs, which can interfere with the aesthetics of a community. Before undergoing a roof replacement, homeowners usually must seek approval from their HOA. This is so that the HOA can ensure any changes made to your home blend in seamlessly with the rest of the neighborhood.
When you replace a roof without HOA approval, you run the risk of incurring hefty fines and even facing a lawsuit. The association may also order you to reverse the unapproved changes, regardless of the stage of completion. Worse yet, you, the homeowner, will have to shoulder the cost of reversing the changes. Then, you will have to go through the proper channels to get approval before starting the project back up again (while still paying for the expenses out of pocket).
HOA Roof Replacement Guidelines and Approval Process
Homeowners associations often have detailed guidelines on the specific changes residents can make to their homes. While these guidelines can change from one community to another, some of the more common ones regulate the style of the roof. It is important that you refer to your association’s governing documents, particularly the CC&Rs, for the exact specifications.
Since uniformity is paramount to an HOA, all roofs usually need to follow a similar style. Additionally, associations will also outline what types of materials residents can use for their roofing as well as what color. Many communities also require that residents use roofing materials that are resistant to hailstorms.
Apart from setting guidelines for the appearance of roofs, associations also typically establish a standard procedure for requesting approval. Depending on the HOA, this will usually follow the format of the architectural review process. Basic steps include the following:
1. Fill Out an Application Form
Some HOAs have a form that homeowners can fill out with the necessary details of the architectural change. Others, though, only ask homeowners to submit a letter of request. Regardless, associations will typically ask for the following information on the form:
- Type of alteration proposed (in this case, a roof replacement)
- Roofing materials to be used
- Color and type of paint to be used
- Detailed plans of the work
- Contractor details
- Schedule for completion (including start and end dates)
2. Attach Supporting Documents
Apart from a detailed sketch of the project, many associations will also ask for additional documents such as any necessary permits and certificates of insurance (of the contractor). It is best to prepare these documents ahead of time so you can submit them along with the application form. That way, there is no delay.
3. Wait for the Board’s Response
After submitting all the requirements, the HOA board will review the proposal and send a response. The exact timeframe can differ from association to association, though most communities give residents a response within 30 days. In several cases, the architectural review committee will be in charge of going through such proposals and either recommending a decision to the board or making a decision themselves.
If a homeowner’s request is denied, the committee or board should provide a reason. Some changes or additional documentation may be required. Homeowners can then make the needed adjustments and re-submit the application for review.
4. Commence HOA Roof Replacement
Following approval, homeowners can then ask their contractor to begin work. It is important to follow the association’s rules when it comes to start and end times for construction. This way, you won’t be a nuisance to your neighbors and can avoid hefty fines from the association. Sometimes, a representative from the committee or board will check on the progress of the project to make sure everything is going according to the approved plans.
Can an HOA Require a Homeowner to Replace Their Roof?
It may seem silly that an organization like an HOA can dictate what homeowners should and shouldn’t do with their own property. But, that is just the reality of living in an HOA community.
Homeowners associations typically conduct inspections of the neighborhood. And, if they spot that an owner’s roof needs repairing or replacing, they can require the owner to take action. This is to maintain the aesthetics as well as the standard of living in the neighborhood.
Keep in mind that just because an HOA requires a roof replacement doesn’t mean owners can do whatever they can. Homeowners will still need to go through an approval process so that the association can ensure that the new roof adheres to the guidelines of the community.
Does HOA Cover Roof Replacement Costs?
The question of which party has to pay for the replacement costs depends on who owns the property. If it is an owner’s roof, then the owner will need to shoulder the expenses associated with replacing the roof, even if the HOA ordered the owner to replace it in the first place. Homeowners associations usually only pay for repairs, maintenance, and replacements to common elements, such as the roof of a clubhouse or indoor pool. Even then, the money still technically comes from the homeowners in the form of regular dues.
Do Homeowners Need Approval for HOA Roof Repairs?
Repairs and replacements are two very different things. HOA roofing repairs usually don’t involve large-scale changes, so most associations don’t require approval for them. On the other hand, replacements involve installing an entirely new roof or a large portion of it. Therefore, replacements typically need HOA approval.
Following a Standard Process
An HOA roof replacement is a huge investment and takes a lot of time. As such, homeowners should make sure to secure the HOA’s approval first before starting work on this project. In doing so, owners can avoid wasting money.
Elite Management Services provides expert HOA management services to condo and homeowners associations. Call us today at (855) 238-8488 or contact us online to request a free proposal.
- HOA Maintenance Checklist: Keeping Tabs On Community Maintenance
- Should The HOA Clubhouse Be Exclusively Used By Homeowners?
- 13 Tips On How To Improve Curb Appeal In Your Community This Spring