Who owns the roof?

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DAVID SEARL: I am president of an apartment building of eight units. Photo: Shutterstock


QUESTION

I am president of an apartment building of eight units. Two of these have solariums, or roof terraces, each with exclusive use. Our lawyers tell me that these roof areas don’t count towards their community percentage fees. If this is really the case, and since these solariums constitute the roof of the building, who is responsible for any damage to the rest of the building caused by problems on the roof?

R.B. (Costa del Sol)

ANSWER

The community is responsible for leaks or damage coming from the roof of the building, even when exclusive use is assigned to the penthouse or “atico” apartments. The roof area does not count towards their community fees because they do not own it. In fact, no unit actually owns its terrace. They are all “exclusive use”. The “private element” is only what is enclosed by walls. The “communal element” is everything outside the walls of the apartments. This is why any owner who wishes to enclose his terrace must ask the community for permission.

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