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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34275
Experience:  12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
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I have a question regarding a duplex, Encinitas CA, 92024,

Customer Question

I have a question regarding a duplex
JA: Where is the property located?
Customer: Encinitas CA
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: 92024
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Looking to see what the "law" is regarding a shared roof with a neighbor. If it is claimed to be leaking on their side am I responsible?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 9 months ago.

Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 9 months ago.

This the home jointly owned? Or owned by a single person?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
They are 2 separate properties with a shared wall and 1 shared roof that balconies are on top of. We own our side, they own their side
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 9 months ago.

Thank you
And is there an agreement regarding maintenance? If so what does it provide?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
There are no CC&R or HOA on the property. These expired in 2002 so there is nothing regarding the maintenance of the property
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 9 months ago.

And is there a reason there has not been an update to the CC&R's (since you need these to address this issue)?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My wives grandmother owned the property next to us and passed away last year. Before she passed we always just figured these out and it was easy. The property was sold last year as a vacation home to a family and they have not been easy to work with and we are not looking to get into any binding agreement with them.
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 9 months ago.


The vast majority of circumstances where two separate owners share a joint roof are governed by some agreement. For good reason. Without an agreement? You are going to face problems, going forward, when issues like you are describing pop up.

Who is liable for repair?

The law that governs this will focus on negligence...who (if anyone) is responsible for the issue.

For example, if you were on the roof, damaged it, and caused this problem? You could be held liable.

But unless there is evidence you caused the issue? You are not going to be liable.

But the real issue will arise when it comes time for a new roof...without an agreement neither of you can (easily) force the other to pay for may be possible under equity (equity law could allow you to pay for the entire repair and force the other to pay their share...but this law is not clearly established...the reason you may want to consider an agreement on this)

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 9 months ago.

Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to accept the answer, I truly appreciate that

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