Hi Henry, yes, in fairness to neighboring property owners and the public, a permit is necessary. If the roofer was licensed and bonded/insured, he should have pulled permits. Ofttimes the property owner does not bother or know to ask to see them. Ultimately, however, it is the property owner's responsibility for any work performed.
If the work performed was not permitted, the city could require that it be redone (worst case) or if the building inspector inspects and finds the work to be satisfactory / decides to allow it to remain, the property owner and/or roofer may simply be fined.
If you are fined, you could go after the roofer for redress.
You should consult an attorney if you need more help.
Likewise, if you ever need help negotiating a commercial lease in 19107, feel free to contact me.
Eric Axelson, Associate Broker
Kurfiss Sotheby's International y