Lots of people do lots of things, but that won't protect you from putting yourself at risk in building an illegal deck.
Unpermitted building and illegal building is poor building. I hate to think of the liability that would exist, should someone be injured on that deck.
Take my advice, and check with both the City and also with the Fire Department, and base your decision on what you discover there.
I would not entertain any thought about building until legal permits could be obtained, and the deck build by licensed contractors.
And while certainly it was evident that there was no "roof deck/patio," it was being marketed as such.
If I were representing you, I would have suggested that you contact the city of West Hollywood Building & Safety.
They can be found at the link below(and follow the link to contact them), or call (323) 848-6320.
Since this posting is old and all the units in the building have been sold, just keep this link for future reference. And remember, only contact them if the building is located in the city of West Hollywood. Just because the address reads West Hollywood 90069 doesn't mean it is in the city of West Hollywood-it just shares the zip code.
I would think that adding such a deck would void the builders warranty. Any damage to roofs is usually covered by the HOA but it could turn into a big issue if some people do use the decks and some people don't and creates issues with the roofing. Find out if in the CC&Rs what is stated about the use of the roof and who covers what and what modifications are or aren't allowd. I don't see why at resale you couldn't advertise the deck. You could advertise it as a unpermitted deck. Or just disclose that the deck isn't permited as a deck. I would also request from the builder to get structural info that supports that shows the that the roof would support the weight of a deck. Also find out if insurance would cover any use of the deck/roof. Say there was a fire from a BBQ. Would that be covered. This could be a big can of worms. I've seen other decks in WEHO that are roof top decks. Are they saying each unit would need a fire escape or just that the roof would need a fire escape?
The Reavis Group