While the title of this article may already provide some logic in so much that maintenance of an apartment block’s roof is likely to rest with those recognised as owning it, on further examination, there may be a little more to it. Many complexes have several separate apartment blocks and still, others may have roof spaces that are for the sole use of owners of the “penthouse” style apartments. These and other factors along with how your communal areas are managed may also impact upon the responsibility of costs in the event of repairs and maintenance. In this article, we aim to examine some of these factors and provide further levels of clarification.
Apartment complex roofs in the context of a communal asset
Unless your purchase contract specifies the roof of your apartment block is yours and your responsibility alone, it is likely to form part of the communal or shared spaces/facilities. That would mean that it is shared ownership and therefore will come under the auspices of your property management provider. There may be other instances where each separate block within a complex would take ownership of their own blocks roof, though; this isn’t a common occurrence in Cyprus. The main exception to this scenario is in instances where the roof forms a part of the top level or “penthouse apartments”.
Roofs, roof terraces, and penthouse apartments
There may be instances whereby nature of design, only specific apartments have access to and use of an apartment block roof. It may be that in the case of penthouse apartments the roof is included as outside space for the sole benefit of the owners of that property. It could be argued, therefore, that has they have exclusive use, such owners would not only be responsible for the roof’s maintenance but also liable for any damage it caused to the rest of the building. Insurance cover against such events would also be a crucial and probably a mandatory requirement too. In instances where more than one apartment shares the use of such a roof logic would suggest that all of the preceding would be shared equally.
Protecting yourself from potential risks
While building insurance is often a matter taken under the remit of a residents committee, anyone who has sole responsibility for a roof above their apartment would be prudent to ensure that they have adequate insurance cover. In cases where the roof or roofs within a complex can be clearly identified as communal spaces or those of shared ownership, the same should apply. Furthermore, whatever the case of ownership, astute owners tend to ensure that a carefully chosen property management company assists them in dealing with this potentially expensive aspect of apartment ownership.
Guarantees and building warranties
While many owners report difficulties when dealing with developers in the event of building faults and warranties, some of the more reputable companies actually provide a “time-limited” guarantee at the time of completion. It is, therefore, always worth digging out your contract to check whether your building comes with any guarantees and the period that they cover.
Complacency can be our biggest enemy and human nature often chooses to ignore the negative possibilities until it is too late and the worst happens. With that in mind, it may pay you to check out the ownership and maintenance responsibilities sooner rather than “shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted”.
Seeking clarification concerning ownership and responsibility for your apartment block roofs
If you are unable to discover who is responsible for a roof or even roofs on your complex through your contract, your next port of call ought to be the Cyprus Land Registry. In cases where the title deeds have not yet been issued for individual apartments, there should be a single title that relates to the individual contracts of sale issued by the developer who constructed the complex. In more complex and protracted issues concerning roofs, you may need to engage a Cyprus lawyer to pursue the matter on your behalf.
Getting it right at the outset
One of the biggest advantages that residents committees have over single occupiers is that they will already be working together for their common good. It doesn’t end there either, because they will already have the services of a specialist property lawyer who has experience in the particular issues that affect multi-unit complexes. From dealing with roof maintenance and repairs to managing the finances of your communal areas, a professional property management company is able to deal with all of them on your behalf.
To learn more about how a professional Cyprus property management company can take care of your communal roof maintenance contact the experts now!