Thursday, April 10, 2008

Should I Be Worried?

We received this from our homeowners association for our Texas house (the following has been edited due to grammatical errors):

Due to the recent hail storm, there may be significant damage to peoples' homes. The board is already aware of homes which will need to have their roofs replaced. If you need to have your roof replaced as a result of the Saturday, February 16, 2008, hail storm, you do not need to fill out an Architectural Control form as long as the new roof will be a shingle roof.

Once I was able to figure out what they were trying to say (it's hard to read text without apostrophes or commas), I was surprised that I hadn't heard anything from our PM out there. He didn't say that repairs were required, but he didn't tell me that everything was fine, either. You'd think that it would have rained at least once since then and that the tenants would have complained if there was some leakage from the ceiling.

This house is over 3,600 square feet (two story), so a roof replacement would not be a small, inexpensive job. I know that hail can be a problem in some parts of Texas, but to need a brand new roof due to one hail storm is mind boggling for a native Southern Californian like me. The biggest hail I've ever seen was the size of an air soft pellet and the longest storm lasted about three minutes. Do they really have hail the size of baseballs? What if you happened to be parked outside at the time? Bummer.

So, as much as I'd rather not know, I decided I'd better e-mail the PM and ask if there's something that I should be worried about. Because it's been seven weeks or so since the storm, I thought that I'd receive a reply stating that some houses in the area did experience excessive damage, but that ours was fine.

This was his response:

We will have our roofers check it out. We have two companies that are local, Not "storm chasers", that we can get estimates from. I'll let you know if you need to get your insurance involved.

Yeah, way to stay on top of it. You know, I hired a PM so that he's the one taking care of things like this--without a reminder from me. At least he collects the rent in Texas every single month without any prompting from California. And he's one of the good ones!

Our roof is insured for hail, but the deductible is $1,500. Our expenses on that unit are very low, and we flow a little bit every month. The tenant renewed the lease at the end of last year, so, if they ride it out, we wouldn't have had a vacancy in two years. However, it doesn't thrill me to put $1,500 into it at this point in time. And, if the tenants are inconvenienced during the repairs or replacement, they may ask for a rent reduction for that month, or we may have to pay for a hotel.

I haven't heard back from my PM yet. I wonder how long we have to submit a claim to the insurance company. I guess I have one more call to make today.