Who is responsible for snow removal from the roofs in a bare land bungalow condo complex?

R.R. writes:

Dear Paul:

Who is responsible for removing snow build-up on roofs in a bare land bungalow condo complex. The corporation is responsible for roof replacement and repair. Thanks!

Paul replies:

Dear R.R.:

This is certainly a timely question given all the snow we have been getting. I am not a lawyer, however, if the corporation is responsible for roof replacement and repair, I would think that it would be in the corporation’s best interest to remove any excessive snow build up from bare land bungalow roof tops. This would certainly fall in the category of risk management.

As always, it is important to examine your governing documents to determine responsibilities. If responsibilities are not described in as much detail as you would like, it may be time for the board to enact a Rule or amend the Bylaws.

Excessive snow accumulation could cause the roof to weaken under the stress and in some cases cause the roof to collapse. Poor attic insulation that let’s heat escape resulting in snow melt, or melting from sunlight, can create water to pool in gutters. Ice dams then clog gutters and may cause them to tear away from the home.

At the point where a damaged roof causes water to leak into a unit, only the insurance companies and building contractors stand to profit. A board should have a roofing professional evaluate the situation and remove the snow if required. This may not be a DYI project. Best wishes.

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