Townhome firewall

Inspected a townhome today in Orlando. It was built in 2007 and is a 4 unit building with 2 upper units above 2 lower units. Each unit has a single garage and the garages for the upper and lower units are adjacent to each other. When I went into the attic above the garage, I found that there was no fire separation between the garages. I could see that attic access for the adjacent garage from the attic opening. The garage ceiling did have 5/8" drywall but other than that, there was no obvious separation.

It has been 10 years since I was involved in construction of a town home but then we had complete separation between the units, including the garages. Is there an exception that I am not aware of that would allow the attics over the garages to be connected?

I am including a photo taken while standing on my ladder at the attic opening and you can see that attic light fixture above the access panel from the other garage.

I believe you inspected a condominium which would explain the common attic

It is listed on the property appraiser’s web site as a townhome.

Well my guess is they are wrong LOL…I have never heard of of stacked Townhouses in Florida…have built both townhouses and condominiums ( though not since 2007-2008.)…a lot of it depends of the zoning, we built/ developed a few projects, that had they been a few miles down the street they would have been townhouses but since they weren’t they were condos

It is more than likely a condo. The difference between the two is that a townhouse you own the land that it sits on, a condo you do not. If the “units” are stacked one on top of the other, that would not be possible and considered a condo.

To answer you question, fire rated assemblies have not changed. Just comment that unit, if it is on the top floor, does not have a rated assembly between units in the attic. Get your fee.

The word “condominium” is Latin, meaning “common ownership” or “common control.”

So if it’s a condominium no firewall is required?

Probably wasn’t required when built. Looks like '60’s vintage. You can note it and recommend upgrading, but I doubt anything will be done about it.

Should you really recommend upgrading? I ask only because in a condominium the attic space is most likely not part of an individual unit so an individual has no right to alter or improve anything.

I don’t review condo docs when making recommendations…:slight_smile:

Do you make roof recommendations as well on condos then? Truely curious ( have built condos, have converted stuff to condos, have been the broker selling them, and have been “developer in control” of the association till enough were sold…LOL I hate condos but as always am curious)

I was speaking from a home inspector’s point of view…NOT a realtor, broker, developer, etc. :slight_smile:

Totally understand and that is what I am trying to learn…besides my comments towards Meeker, LOL on here, anything I say that seems argumentative isn’t intended to be, I am just trying to promote conversation that takes all or at least multiple sides into it.

Hey, life is short…enjoy! :slight_smile: