Condo Attic Storage

Are you looking to make use of attic storage in your condo?

Condo Attic Storage

Over the years  we’ve run into a few instances where we were selling a condo. These issues involved attic storage space.

Quite often, both buyers and sellers, don’t actually know who owns the attic space. In fact, quite often the attic space is owned by the condo association, not the homeowner. During one sale, either the homeowner or a previous homeowner installed a pull down staircase which allowed access to the attic for storage. In most towns, Fire Department regulations require attic access in case of a fire. This access is usually provided via a hatchway, not a pull down staircase. However, these hatchways are small and don’t allow much room to get things into the attic space. Therefore, people sometimes install the pull down staircase.  But, installation requires that the roof trusses get cut or partially removed to make room for that pull down staircase.

Who Owns the Attic?

Any alterations to a roof truss system can possibly cause a serious problem. A truss is a series of 2x4s which are engineered to support the weight of the roof.  In addition, the truss also supports any additional load that is placed on the roof, such as snow. By altering, or even partially removing the truss,  the structural integrity of the roof can be compromised. And if the roof fails due to this, it will probably be the homeowner’s responsibility, not the condo associations. Additionally, the fire wall between the interior of the house and the attic is almost always compromised.

If the condo association becomes aware of this, most of the time they’ll insist that the pull down staircase be removed. In addition, the trusses must be returned to their original condition. Additionally, some towns will not issue the Certificate of Occupancy unless the pull down staircase is properly removed. And a sale of the condo cannot be completed without the Certificate of Occupancy. Also, when the buyer performs their home inspection, their inspector will probably report if the trusses have been compromised. At that time, it becomes an inspection issue.

Bottom Line

If you wish to make  the attic storage space in a condo more accessible, speak with the association first. This could save your a lot of headaches, not to mention the expense.

Are you ready to either buy or sell a home? Contact us.

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