Lender asking for letter stating no leaking of roof?

I imagine a few of yall have gotten a request similar to this one I received today from the buyer’s agent:

“The underwriter is asking if you are able to provide a letter stating that there is no major structural damage and no leaking occurring as a result of roof issues.”

Is there a good template to use to fulfill the underwriter’s request that will not put me on the hook for something I could not be responsible for? Or better yet, how would yall go about responding?

Thanks and forgive me if something similar has been posted before; I searched but didn’t find anything.

On my letter head

At the time of inspection, there was no visible major structural damage or visible active leaks. Some areas were not fully accessible or visible. This is not a warranty/guarantee of any kind, nor a prediction of future performance. The fee for this letter is $250 due immediately. :grinning:


You really charge for that letter??

I would charge something. My time is valuable. If you refuse the letter, they are going to pay a roofer to go out and do it.

To the realtor, I provide these letters all the time, the fee is $50 dollars. Who shall I bill?


As soon as my truck is out of the driveway, all bets are off.

What if there’s a weather event the night after the inspection that causes a leak?


Not to mention the liability involved. Anytime you make a “professional observation,” you should be compensated for it because you are incurring some liability.


Do a walk guarantee. When I walk away so does the quarantee.


Your post had me thinking of a familiar “roof cert” form for some insurance carriers.

Predominant Roof Covering Material:
Roof Age (years):
Remaining Estimated Useful Life:
Date of Last Roofing Permit:
Date of Last Update:

Secondary Roof Covering Material:
Roof Age (years):
Remaining Estimated Useful Life:
Date of Last Roofing Permit:
Date of Last Update:

Any visible signs of damage / deterioration?
(describe) (e.g. curling/ lifted/ loose/ missing shingles or tiles, sagging or uneven roof deck)
Predominant Roof Yes No
Secondary Roof Yes No

If updated (check one):
Full Replacement
Partial Replacement
% of Replacement

Overall Condition of Roof:
Poor (explain)


Inspector Name (printed)
Telephone Number


That’s the thing. This was an old roof with mild hail damage and about a half dozen missing shingles. No way in God’s green earth am I gonna state there’s no leak.

That said, the roof structure was in good shape.

You can state that the roof was in fair to poor condition and is likely to leak in the future due to hail damage and missing shingles.

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So ya say what you saw.

Roof showed mild hail damage and about a half dozen missing shingles. On the day of inspection, no major water damage or leaks were observed in the attic, but not all areas were visible, and missing shingles can quickly lead to additional and unpredictable cascading failures.

$50 please.

You’re not trying to sell the house, you’re inspecting.

Next time they can get a nice metal roof that won’t do more than slightly dent with hail.


The buyers agent is asking for a Roof Certification for the insurance underwriter? That doesn’t even smell right. Why doesn’t the insurance underwriter ask. Doesn’t their phone work? Unless you want to assume a bunch of liability just say NO. Are you a certified roofer?

My Uncle Frank was a lawyer. He had one piece of sage advice. “Never buy the other guy’s deal.”


In this case that is the only thing I would put in writing, or something very similar.


For the record, you now see why you should charge for these things. This whole thread is a learning curve they need to pay for as well as your current expertise. I also like what @ruecker said, your letter head, your risks…pay me.


It is impossible to provide such a letter without performing a simulated wind driven rain event test. Just because you saw no stains does not mean the roof isn’t leaking. It’s quite possible for there to be a leak and for you not to see signs of it. Too much liability for $50, doesn’t even fill up my tank of gas anymore.


Yup, it is a bit fishy. Talking to the agent it turns out someone in her office accidentally mentioned the roof had issues when dealing with the lender. Now the underwriter wants an assurance that there is no leaking or major damage before signing the check.

If anyone other than the client or agent had called me I wouldn’t have given them any info regarding the house or report since it is private to the client.

Great advice from uncle Frank, thanks for sharing.


I responded with a letter stating, “At the time of the inspection of 321 Thisa Bitemeintheass Road, there did not appear to be any major damage to the roof structure as a result of the roof covering issues. By “roof structure”, I am referring to the framing components such as the trusses and sheathing that were accessible at the time of the inspection.”

Here’s what I made sure to include.

  1. Time reference. “At the time of the inspection” quantifies the time as then and not now nor in the future because I sure as hell ain’t warrantying this roof.
  2. Removed “Leaking”. With shingles missing I can only assume that the roof is indeed leaking.
  3. Use of the word, “appear”. Normally I don’t use this word in my reports, but in this case it gives some wiggle room that can be argued as opposed to saying ‘none’ hard stop.
  4. Defined “roof structure”. Because I sure don’t want anyone’s lawyer calling me up saying the shingles are included in that.
  5. I did not charge. This agent is a rock star who brings me multiple jobs a month. This is why I didn’t flat out say no to writing the letter. She’s been great and I do wish her the best in this transaction and feel that I can confidently fall back on the original report and my rock solid LOL if I ever get a dreaded phone call from someone’s lawyer. Also, I feel the likelihood of that is pretty slim.

So out of curiosity, for those of yall who like me who would not have said no, how would yall have changed the wording on this?

Thanks for all the great feedback, by the way. This is a great community.


I think it is fine. It will also help your client because the insurance company cannot confirm or exclude a preexisting defect.

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Since you brought up “roof issues” in this letter, you should re-state them for the historical record. Your roof letter may not be accompanied by your main report.

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There are two kinds of roofs: those that that leak and those that will leak. All you can do is tell me if my roof is leaking at the time you are looking at it.

What you are being asked to do by the underwriter is provide him with financial support should he incur costs in the future for a roof leak. If you are so inclined to provide such backing, your fee should match the cost of a tear off and replacement, plus 10% profit.