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Subject: Water Supply Lines vs. Shut-offs on Homes
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Author Messages
DanH14
(Missouri)

Posts:3


02/12/2018 6:01 PM  
New to the group, and can't believe I just found this. Very excited to review the content. I have a question to kick off my registration. I'm a board member on my HOA which is in its infancy (1-2 years). We're part of, what used to be, a family resort, turned into an HOA community. This community has a shared well across 15 different units. The water supply lines are, with lack of better terms, a bit outdated.

Both our Covenants and By-Laws state that any maintenance/work on these water supply lines will be covered by the HOA.

My question, in everyone's experience, if an owner of an individual unit had a busted water supply shut off valve, on their property (not common ground), would this be a fix on their own expense...or would this be considered as part of the water supply lines, and thus an HOA expense? I see it both ways, but given that it is indeed on their individually owned property, per our plat of survey, I feel this fix should be at their expense.

Would love to hear others feedback if anyone has had experience in this matter.

Thanks!
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7191


02/12/2018 6:09 PM  
My initial blush is the HOA is responsible for delivering water to the unit then it becomes the unit's issue, including the unit's shutoff valve.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15245


02/12/2018 7:05 PM  
I'm in disagreement with John on this.

In my opinion, the lines to and including the water shutoff valve would be the responsibility of the HOA.
From the valve to the home would be the owners.

I base this on similarities within municipalities. The water company owns and maintains the pipes and valves to the water meter as well as maintains the meter itself. Lines and valves after the water meter would be the members (clients).

Even though there is a shutoff valve the homeowners maintains, there is also a shut off valve prior to the meter that the water company maintains (but the owner has access to if needed).


The question would be, what cause the valve to break?
DanH14
(Missouri)

Posts:3


02/12/2018 7:23 PM  
Thanks Tim and John. I appreciate the quick response.

Both of your posts make a lot of sense, hence why I'm trying to weigh both sides.

For this specific situation, there is one shut off valve on this line that is directly outside of our community well room. This sits on common ground. The shut off valve in question is directly on the outside of their home, within their property line.

Tim, in regards to your question, much of the water supply pipes and shut off valves are very old, and in my honest opinion, the old resort maintenance staff did a poor job during any winterizing processes. My thought is a deep freeze may have disrupted it in some way.

Thanks again for the thoughts!

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:15245


02/12/2018 8:09 PM  
If I were on your Associations Board, I would lobby for the following:

1) As this is grey area (not well defined), the Association makes the repair.
2) Replace/move all shut off valves to common area.
3) Once valves are moved, adopt resolution (or amend the covenants) that the Association will maintain pipes to the valve and the members will be responsible from the property line inward.

This way, everyone starts with a new valve, the old valves are replaced with straight pipe and everyone knows who is responsible for what.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:180


02/12/2018 8:15 PM  
This is almost a toss up but because the covenants say the HOA covers the "water supply lines" I would argue that they are responsible to the point that it enters the home since it is part of the supply line. If it were not in the covenants, then I would argue that the individual owners are responsible for anything on their properties.

Using the argument made where water meters exist, I believe the reason the city or water company maintain up to the water meter has more to do with the fact that they own the meter than where the property line is. In the last two homes I lived in the water meter was well into the property line but the town or water company still maintained up to the meter.
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:358


02/13/2018 6:31 AM  
Posted By DanH14 on 02/12/2018 6:01 PM
New to the group, and can't believe I just found this. Very excited to review the content. I have a question to kick off my registration. I'm a board member on my HOA which is in its infancy (1-2 years). We're part of, what used to be, a family resort, turned into an HOA community. This community has a shared well across 15 different units. The water supply lines are, with lack of better terms, a bit outdated.

Both our Covenants and By-Laws state that any maintenance/work on these water supply lines will be covered by the HOA.

My question, in everyone's experience, if an owner of an individual unit had a busted water supply shut off valve, on their property (not common ground), would this be a fix on their own expense...or would this be considered as part of the water supply lines, and thus an HOA expense? I see it both ways, but given that it is indeed on their individually owned property, per our plat of survey, I feel this fix should be at their expense.

Would love to hear others feedback if anyone has had experience in this matter.

Thanks!





One quick question! who pays the water bill? Are individual unit owners metered or does the association pay the entire bill and the water bill is paid out of the monthly assessments?
DanH14
(Missouri)

Posts:3


02/13/2018 9:36 AM  
Great feedback. Thank you all. Gives me a great basis to discuss with the other board members.

To answer the question on who pays the bill...this is done so by the HOA based on monthly fees.

Thanks again all
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1268


02/13/2018 9:51 AM  
I would say the HOA is responsible for water lines feeding INTO the shutoff valve. At the shutoff valve, including the valve, plumbing repairs rest w/ the homeowner. That's the general rule when a town or city has a water line break at a private property connection.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2084


02/13/2018 11:27 AM  
In our community, the HOA covers the pipe up to the point it enters the unit and then it becomes homeowner responsibility.

For your question, I might also ask what caused the valve to fail - was it old age or something the homeowner did or tried to do (or someone whom the homeowner hired to look at the valve) If the damage was due to misuse or abuse, I might make the homeowner at least partially responsible for the repair.

It's one thing to say the HOA should be responsible and perhaps it should, but keep in mind this can become VERY expensive very quickly. This was a family resort, so who knows how well the lines were maintained before the HOA came into being? Now that it's a HOA, busted lines might become more of a possibility, and if the HOA doesn't have the money to pay for major repairs, you and your neighbors may be looking at a hefty special assessment.

You might want to take Tim's suggestion on dealing with the lines and while you're at it, I hope the HOA commissions a reserve study where you can look at the useful life of this system to begin estimating the cost of future repairs and replacement. The study will help the board set the budget accordingly (yes, you should anticipate assessment increases, but better to plan and pay a little now than for everything to fail and you wind up with a special assessment AND a huge fee increase).
DouglasM6
(Arizona)

Posts:582


02/13/2018 1:38 PM  
Posted By TimB4 on 02/12/2018 7:05 PM
I'm in disagreement with John on this.

In my opinion, the lines to and including the water shutoff valve would be the responsibility of the HOA.
From the valve to the home would be the owners.





^^ I feel this is correct. In my HOA, however, the home owner would pay for the valve.

Posted By BenA2 on 02/12/2018 8:15 PM
This is almost a toss up but because the covenants say the HOA covers the "water supply lines" I would argue that they are responsible to the point that it enters the home since it is part of the supply line. If it were not in the covenants, then I would argue that the individual owners are responsible for anything on their properties.

Using the argument made where water meters exist, I believe the reason the city or water company maintain up to the water meter has more to do with the fact that they own the meter than where the property line is. In the last two homes I lived in the water meter was well into the property line but the town or water company still maintained up to the meter.




The "water supply lines", if you're going to use literal definitions, do not end at the unit. There are supply lines to the toilets, the sinks, the washing machine, etc...

The supply line supplies water to the properties, not the units.

OP- I suspect you have no meters. If that's the case, the HOA would be responsible for the main through the neighborhood and up to the shut off valve at the main. There's normally two shut off valves, one at the main and one at the house.
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