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Subject: Damage to Common Walls
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KarenS2
(California)

Posts:1


01/18/2006 11:19 PM  
The block wall behind my home faces a busy street for the nearby college. There is a small slope and then a sidewalk before the street. This wall acts as a retaining wall for the slope. Our HOA maintains the slope and it is considered part of the common areas of our developement.

Recently a young college student crashed into this wall sending a couple blocks through my back windows. I received damage to interior walls, floors, and furniture. The block wall is badly damaged and is leaning extensively. Since this is a retaining wall the extimates for the repairs are averaging $45,000 after all permits. The student's car insurance has a maximum of $5,000 for property damage. He lives with his mother in an apartment and does not appear to be able to pay for the extent of the damage. My homeowners insurance claims the wall belongs to our HOA and it is their liability. My HOA claims that this wall belongs to me. I have searched the CC&Rs and cannot find anything regarding the block walls. I have a pool and a dog and am concerned that someone may be hurt if it is not repaired soon. Do you have any advise?
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


01/19/2006 6:44 AM  
KarenS2, What is the basis for your insurance agent to say it is the HOAs responsibility? Possibly they just want someone else to take care of it. If the HOA is not responsible for repairs get a letter stating this and send it to your insurance company and work with your insurance company to have it repaired. How do you determine who needs to repair it? Check your Declaration to see if maintenance of this wall the HOA's responsibility. If the Declaration is not clear you can check with the HOAs insurance company to see if the HOA has listed it to be covered. If it is insured by the HOA OR if it is in the Declaration work with the HOA to get it repaired.

Good luck,
Roger

Roger
CharlesW1
(Georgia)

Posts:826


08/18/2006 8:39 AM  
KarenS2.
I see that Roger has given you some rather good advice. I was curious to know have you gotten the wall fixed. Has anyone claimed responsibility to fix the wall? How about the damage to your home? I understand that it was an accident and thank god the driver wasn’t hurt? Was he/she alright?

Its sounds like to me that the one who has the insurance to cover for such accidents doesn’t want to be the one to use it. Someone has to be liable, either the HOA or the student’s car insurance. Did you type the wall repair in correctly, $45.000.00? I understand that it’s a retaining wall. It must be rather large one as well. I would consider getting a second, even a third quote. A majority of landscapers give free quotes. Ask them how long it would take? Ask them what forms of payment do they take and when do they expect payment in full? I would state very clearly to them that the total amount will be paid when the project is completed to approve satisfaction. If it has been determined that you are responsible for the repairs and damage done to you home, then a homeowners insurance should handle it then. Why else does anyone have homeowners insurance?
I would agree with Roger that you should get it in writing. I’m sure they just need proof that the student’s car insurance company isn’t going to pay either! They are in it for the money. They don’t care in your floors got damaged, windows “busted” or and damages done to your home. As awful as it may sound I highly doubt that they care if anyone even got hurt.
It’s too bad that our society is this way!

I don’t mean to rehash the whole situation all over again for you. I’m new to this discussion board. I was just educating myself on the previously written posts and responses. I became interesting in your posting. I hope all is well with you now!

Chuck W.

Charles E. Wafer Jr.
BradP
(Kansas)

Posts:2640


08/18/2006 8:37 PM  
Karen:

I would think the HOA is responsible for fixing the fence but you would be responsible for damages in your home unless the student were to pay. Since the HOA was not negligent with the wall or responsible for the damage to it, I would think it would be unfair to expect them to pay yours, however, i am not an attorney.
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