Re: Lots of Gray: How to Assign Financial Responsibility for Homeowner Damage to Common Property
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 26 May 2012 05:53:01 -0700 (PDT)
On 25 May 2012, at 11:16 AM, David Bygott wrote:

> Prevention is far, far cheaper than cure. We are getting better at it, but 
> all the time getting better at mediation too and trying to ensure that 
> neither individuals nor the community get stuck with outrageous repair costs.

Thanks to David for a great post on this topic. I'll add to the practice of 
waivers and assumption of responsibility is that they highlight for homeowners 
and the association that this is not a decorative addition to the property. 
Installing roof panels, for example, can cause serious and expensive damage if 
not installed properly.

Education and vigilance is important as many residents will have had no 
experience with home maintenance. I'm regularly amazed at how few people have 
any awareness of what can go wrong. When we moved in almost 12 years ago we 
were managing a $7.5 million residential building complex with NO experience. 
Some had owned and maintained homes but most were coming from apartments where 
they had no responsibility for anything. We also had new technologies that no 
one, even our contractors, were experienced in maintaining.

This means formal recognition of responsibilities is a heads up to the 
homeowner as much as financial protection for the homeowner.

I'll also add that we have a very good maintenance maven who has a team that 
walks the property at least once a month looking for problems. She is a detail 
and list person who then places the work on a workday task list for repair and 
arranges for a professional analysis when necessary.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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