Originally Posted By: rray
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Inspectors in my area, for the most part, do not inspect the exterior of common area properties. The exception seems to be duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes, as well as some single-family attached homes. The public records always tell me what I need to know, so it is very easy to charge appropriately.
The place where I run into the most uncertainty is with the SFR-attached. Usually there is a homeowner's association, but they only take care of common area landscaping. When I run into the SFR-attached situation (the public records will say condominium or PUD but the listing, MLS, and Realtor will say Single-Family Attached), the amount of the homeowner's association monthly dues tell me what I need to know. Low dues--landscape only, homeowner takes care of structure. High dues--association takes care of structure.
Homeowners' associations in this state are very, very powerful, so powerful that there is legislation pending that brings these homeowners' associations back down to earth. For the time being, homeowners' associations are very protective of their turf and their power, which is why I don't intrude into their jurisdiction.
Here's what I put in my report to help my Client in these circumstances:
Common components and common areas??Inspectors do not test, analyze, inspect, or offer an opinion on the condition or function of areas or structural components common to more than one unit, systems serving more than one unit, or areas which typically are under the jurisdiction of a homeowners? association, including, but not limited to, structure exterior (including decks, balconies, porches, patios, and parking structures), roof, chimney foundation, fences, and utility service entries. Some areas or systems may or may not be under the jurisdiction of the association (garage, water heater, laundry, etc.). Homeowners? associations sometimes have qualified personnel who can assist Client with many areas of concern, sometimes at little or no cost. Recommend always consulting with homeowners? association prior to commencing any work whatsoever. BEFORE CLOSE OF ESCROW, RECOMMEND: (1) Walking property to determine if homeowners? association is maintaining structures and property in a condition satisfactory to Client; (2) Having qualified homeowners? association personnel inspect all common area structural systems and mechanical components servicing this condominium, particularly, but not limited to, foundation, structure exterior, roof, and chimney; (3) Acquiring homeowners? association public records, minutes, bylaws, budget, etc., to help determine any consistent problems with common area grounds or components; (4) Checking with homeowners? association concerning Client?s responsibility and any non-recurring fees, dues, or assessments which might be forthcoming.
Home inspections. . . .
One home at a time.