New roof on 1/2 duplex

Not sure which section this should be posted under. Please move to appropriate section if needed.

The ½ duplex that I own needs a new roof. After speaking with the adjoining neighbor about splitting the cost he admitted that he has filed for bancrupcy and will likely be out of the house by fall. Reroofing just my half can be done but depending on which roofer I speak with it could lead to more leaks. I don’t want to pay for the neighbor’s half but it may be what I do to make sure the job is done right. Obviously there is the opportunity for me to buy the neighbors’ half and everything works out just fine. However, if I don’t get the neighbors half is it possible for me to put a lien on his house to get back my half of the roofing cost?

You’d put a lien on the house of a guy that told you “no” and admitted to you that he’s bankrupt? Did I misinterpret something?


You’re right. I was writing and not thinking.

I have seen a half duplex done like that - with half the shingles being new - and it looks bad. It also looks bad if the 2 units do not have matching paint. Sometimes the builder is smart and puts a divider or firewall between the units, in which that doesn’t become a problem.

I would re-roof the whole thing, if you can afford it. Otherwise I would just do your half and just deal with the fact it won’t look great.

I went and did the whole roof. I heard too many conflicting stories about doing only half and the problems it would create as far as warranty coverage. Also, doing only half could still cause leaking problems for both the new side and the old half. Then others told me doing only half would not be a problem. In the end I figured that it’s better to do the whole job correctly and then not have to worry about it again. Didn’t cost as much as I thought but still not pleased I shelled out for the other guy’s half. Hopefully good karma strikes & I get his place when all is said & done.

Well Karma should come back to you. If you are already talking to the owner of the other half may I ask why you aren’t working on a Short Sale already? I would get the authorization to release information signed and go under contract with him, and start the Short Sale process? Might as well be working towards the end goal. Maybe even do a loan mod and take over the property subject 2?? Might as well own the whole building :biggrin

That is what I’m hoping for, but I have no idea about the whole bankruptcy process myself. How would you go about arranging this? For the past couple months every time I’ve talked to the other owner about the progress of the bankruptcy, and how we can get a sale started, he has always stated that it wasn’t up to him and that his lawyer was handling everything. Each time he said this I asked to get the lawyer’s number but was always told that he needed to wait for his court date on August 6th – OK, whatever. I figured the guy didn’t fully understand everything he was going through either but I didn’t want to harass him, seem too eager, etc… so I let him have his space and waited for the 6th.

Finally on the 10th I see the owner but he has no new information other than he got a continuance due to somebody not showing up. However, this time I actually got his lawyers number! When I call the lawyer he tells me that he is strictly handling the bankruptcy and has no control over anything else or the coordination of it, let alone the sale of the house. Nor does he have any insight about how I could acquire the property. So after these past few months I am exactly where I started. How should I proceed? Find out who the bank is and contact them? Will the bank even talk to me?

I appreciate your help,

I would ask the guy which bank has the loan. Banks don’t like property management. It makes perfectly good sense for you to be able to buy the other side of the building. I think they would be agreeable to working something out with you once all the legal stuff is done.