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Subject: HOA won't pay!
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SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/28/2019 4:31 PM  
The HOA hired a construction co. The construction company damaged my garage. The construction co. denied they were liable and blamed it on a faulty garage door. The HOA requested I hire someone to take a look. The technician I hired stated there was nothing wrong with the components of my garage door and the damage was caused by the construction crew. Once I submitted this to the HOA they decided to call their own company. No relation to me or the HOA. Their technician confirmed nothing faulty and placed the responsibility on the construction crew. The HOA president was present for the ENTIRE duration. A few days later their company submitted a quote without a full report as they didn't feel the need to write a report since we were advised verbally. The HOA president changed the story around and I got an email from the HOA property manager saying it would be my responsibility and that the construction crew company didn't do it. After further pressing I requested a full report I eventually got the email from the HOA sent by their tech which states exactly what their tech told me it was thru no fault of my own. What recourse do I have?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8768


09/28/2019 4:41 PM  
Call your insurance company and make a claim. They can go to the construction company insurance and make a claim on it. Don't see how the HOA is responsible. They hired a contractor you believe caused damage. That company is to be insurance/licensed. Find out who they are insured with and discuss the issue with them. The HOA should be able to ask the company to provide their insurance information. They did do the hiring.

Former HOA President
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/28/2019 4:54 PM  
Hi MelissaP1 thanks for the reply. All this time the HOA is wanting me to handle it thru them. I.e. submit my complaint, submit the report and estimate from my garage hired tech etc. After this they called their own technician (3rd party) and they still want to contest what he is saying. I agree that the construction company should be held liable. The problem becomes that my insurance is set at 1500. The damages may be a little under this. The board members are having a meeting mid OCT to discuss. I can't see how they could say NO after their own tech stated it was caused by them and I have proof from him. The HOA property management co is aware of their technician's position as he was the one that sent me the info.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8768


09/28/2019 4:57 PM  
The HOA is the client that hired the contractor. So they will most likely be the ones who have to discuss the issue with that contractor. Doesn't mean they pay for it. Just they may need to be the ones to contact the contractor and/or contractor's insurance.

Former HOA President
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/28/2019 5:05 PM  
Thanks. I was initially sent an email stating it was my responsibility and that they (contractors) were not at fault. When I emailed the HOA management co. and stated this was not what I was told. He told me he was confused and would call the garage co. directly. Again this being the company they hired. Once he did that he was told verbally and via email that there was nothing wrong with my garage and that it was the construction crew and there was no pre exisiting damage. I don't understand why they are protecting this construction co.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:461


09/28/2019 5:24 PM  
Sarita,
I agree with almost everything Melissa had to say with the exception of notifying Your insurance company. I have had several close relatives who owned insurance companies. They say that if you contact your company and explain the damage it can ding you regardless of who did the damage. Everything is documented on your account. They use very sophisticated actuarial tables that say people who realize the insurance companies will pay claims place more claims in the future. Insurance companies never lose money on small claims. They will raise your rates and if another claim is made you will be dropped. Once they drop you will never get good rates again. In your case with $1500 deductible you would be smarter to pay for it out of pocket if you lose fighting the HOA and the vendor carrier.

The HOA should be fighting for you not against you just for the record. I wonder if they have had several claims against them and they are worried about being cancelled. You should also go directly to the vendor and let them know you are not going away with them fixing the damage they have done.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/28/2019 5:53 PM  
Markm19 thanks for your response.

Can you please explain this "I wonder if they have had several claims against them and they are worried about being cancelled." HOA being canceled by their own insurance.

For the record I pay my dues timely and have had no complaints against me. I take pride in my property as I am a first time homeowner- single mom. I recently had the garage inside painted and put in a built in shelf. My painters can attest it was fine. I also upgraded my kitchen from the studs up and put in new appliances. I take pride in my property and am always out there sweeping near my garage. It bothers me how the HOA president flipped it and lied. Honestly is affecting my health as well.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:461


09/28/2019 6:04 PM  
Sarita,
The HOA has insurance just like you do. The Vendor has insurance as well. This should strictly be a Vendor insurance claim. Similar to what I said earlier if the HOA gets it's insurance involved to fight with the vendors carrier it gets documented and recorded and if they have had multiple claims that they are dealing with they can also drop the HOA. I always say insurance should only be used in claims that are 3 or 4 times more than your deductible. If they pay a claim they are not paying you they are just loaning you the money and will get it back in futures rate increases.

How big is your HOA?
How old is your HOA?
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/28/2019 6:09 PM  
Makes sense. Thanks for explaining. My property was built in 2005. I would estimate there are maybe 50 units. It is not that large at all.

The HOA president after meeting with the HOA hired garage tech. Either verbally or in writing told the HOA property manager a different story.

My case was denied. And they stated it was my responsibility and that the construction crew had no part.

When I pressed for more information, because I was told a different story. He emailed me back and stated he was confused and that he would call the company directly. Which he did and that is when he verbally and via written got the same feedback I got from the tech.

He than sent me what the tech stated.

But to lie and deny me when he had nothing in writing from their hired company and was just going based off the word of the HOA president who was present. Would that not be a breach of fiduciary duty?
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/28/2019 6:10 PM  
Makes sense. Thanks for explaining. My property was built in 2005. I would estimate there are maybe 50 units. It is not that large at all.

The HOA president after meeting with the HOA hired garage tech. Either verbally or in writing told the HOA property manager a different story.

My case was denied. And they stated it was my responsibility and that the construction crew had no part.

When I pressed for more information, because I was told a different story. He emailed me back and stated he was confused and that he would call the company directly. Which he did and that is when he verbally and via written got the same feedback I got from the tech.

He than sent me what the tech stated.

But to lie and deny me when he had nothing in writing from their hired company and was just going based off the word of the HOA president who was present. Would that not be a breach of fiduciary duty?
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:461


09/28/2019 6:17 PM  
Sarita,
Your HOA president made an error in not telling you the truth or changing the story. I have attached the Davis-Sterling link for Fiduciary Duties. I am not sure I would use that language in my dispute. I would however tell him that he will be called out by you at the next board meeting for what it appears you caught him doing. I am assuming he does not have any relation with this Contractor. If he did then it would be a conflict.

https://www.davis-stirling.com/HOME/Fiduciary-Duties-of-Directors
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/28/2019 6:59 PM  
Thank you for all the information. I really appreciate it.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:8904


09/29/2019 10:42 AM  
Sarita

You say as of now the BOD wants to handle it versus involving any insurance company and they are meeting in mid-October to discuss. What do you expect from posting?
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/29/2019 11:52 AM  
JohnC46 the reason for the post is because the BOD never referred me to the construction crew. Further, even after they called their own garage technician who confirmed I did not cause damage nor was it pre-existing before they even recvd his report. The prop management co. told me they were not at fault and it was my responsibility as determined by the board. The board meeting in mid OCT is the SECOND meeting. I am preparing myself for the next steps. I will be out of town from tomorrow until after they meet. I am trying to prepare myself so I can make a well informed decision in case they DENY it a SECOND time.
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:384


09/29/2019 1:51 PM  
If the damages are below $10k or whatever the maximum threshold that small claims courts in your county handle, file a small claims case against both the HOA and the construction company. Let them sort out who will pay you. You shouldn’t have to file an insurance claim because it isn’t your fault.
MarkM19
(Texas)

Posts:461


09/29/2019 1:59 PM  
Sarita,
Paul gave you the best advice and I hope you take him up on it.

I know from experience that when a Homeowner files a small claim against an HOA they win much more than the lose. Both Judges and the Clerks that sometimes handle these cases usually have built in biases against HOAs. Just consider how many people live in HOAs and all it takes is one of the people handling your case has gotten a letter for their grass or garbage cans being left out. They will think I remember when my HOA bullied me and they are all the same.

The same rules will not apply to the Vendor but more than likely he won't show for the hearing and then you will because of that.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/29/2019 2:39 PM  
Hello Paul, I estimate the damages to be about 600. Fixing the garage panel and painting the panel to match the color of the rest of the panels. I am taking an island vacation and will be gone till the middle of the month. By the time I come back the board will have already made up their mind for a second time. I do plan to take this to small claims court after reading the responses here and doing research on my own. Honestly, at first I was hesitant to take it the legal route as I felt I would no longer be in their good graces and they would have their mark on me. But I started to think that the HOA president already lied and did me dirty. Whose to say she won't again. I believe she cannot be trusted. My main concern was in case anything happened and I wanted to rent my unit. Only a certain amount are allowed at this time, although I hear they are trying to change that. Anyhow, I plan to stick up for myself and not let them walk all over me. I won't be filing a claim thru my insurance.

Appreciate the response.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/29/2019 2:43 PM  
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the reply. See my reply to Paul. I will go that route.

Your response is assuring. It has been a very stressful time for me. As I am working full time, going to school full time, and am a full time single parent. I feel like it is just one more thing I have to "fight." I am not going to let these people walk all over me. Most of them talk crap about the other neighbors. One was complaining because after trash day one lady rinses out her garbage can and dries it before taking it back in. I myself keep my area clean and have invested alot of money in my property. I bought this place on my own and I am proud I was able to do it on my own, especially the was the cost of housing in CALI.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8768


09/29/2019 4:56 PM  
HOLD your suing horses... Suing your HOA is suing yourself and your neighbors. This isn't a lawsuit situation. It's an insurance claim one. The burden of proof is on you to prove it. Which also means going to the actual vendor to make the claim. The HOA may need to work on your behalf as they did the actual hiring. However, this claim with the bill of repair should be submitted to the company responsible. You will get denied as insurance always deny the first time. So submit again.

If anything, I may hire a lawyer NOT to go to small claims but to go to the contractor who did the damages.

Former HOA President
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:840


09/29/2019 5:03 PM  
Sarita, if you have the name of of the contractor that your HOA hired, call the California state contractors licensing board. Explain the situation to them, in some cases the contractors board will take a complaint, they will also give you the name of their insurance carrier so you can call that carrier directly and file a claim. Be the snake in the grass and strike.
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:384


09/29/2019 5:06 PM  
SaritaS, thanks.

This is a classic lawsuit situation.

Person X (either by itself or through an agent) damages Person Y's property. Person X has to pay. Period. Person X should not be stalling on paying Person Y.

I'd sue the HOA and the vendor; you can do so in the same lawsuit. They'll then work out who has to pay. And next time they'll think twice about dragging you along like they have.

The HOA should have made the vendor ensure that it had insurance for the work, and the vendor should (if the HOA had good legal counsel) be obligated to pay the HOA for any losses that the HOA incurred due to defective work or other bad acts by the vendor. So go after the HOA, and it'll make the vendor pay, or go after the vendor; you have grounds to do both.

You shouldn't have to bear the costs of this or be dragged along like this.

PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:384


09/29/2019 5:46 PM  
To add:

The HOA of course won't want to pay. Nor does it want to deal with this. In my experience of being adverse to a HOA for bad things it did, it was adamant that all vendors, contractors, etc. that contributed to the bad things would not incur any liability either; my HOA wanted to protect both itself and the vendors, despite what the HOA and the vendors did.

In my case, discussions, emails, logic, reasoning, etc. were all ignored by the HOA. Only a lawsuit worked. So I would sue.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8768


09/29/2019 9:45 PM  
Spoken by a true lawyer. No offense. There is no need for a lawsuit. IF you want one, then get one for writing a letter or confirming you have the right to file the claim. Otherwise you are costing you and your neighbors unnecessary money just for a $600 repair. The court ONLY makes you Whole.

Former HOA President
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:384


09/29/2019 10:34 PM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/29/2019 9:45 PM
Spoken by a true lawyer. No offense. There is no need for a lawsuit. IF you want one, then get one for writing a letter or confirming you have the right to file the claim. Otherwise you are costing you and your neighbors unnecessary money just for a $600 repair. The court ONLY makes you Whole.




Melissa, I fully respect your views.

In this case, it’s the HOA that is the one that would be imposing any loss on the neighbors.

If someone working for me damaged someone’s property, I’d promptly pay and would settle up with the vendor. The HOA should have already done the same instead of stalling and saying it’s the OP’s fault. It’s not the OP’s fault; the OP has documentation of that.

HOAs are not above the law even though they may think that they are. This HOA needs to quit screwing over the OP. A court will put that to an end. Based on the posts, nothing else will.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:8768


09/30/2019 4:51 AM  
They haven't even heard back from the HOA yet and you got them going to court! 1st off it is the contractor's insurance responsibility. Of course they are going to deny the claim. It's what happens. You have the HOA contact the contractor again and get their insurance information. The HOA then has the contractor come fix the issue or file a claim on the insurance.

Your skipping the steps where the contractor is to come back and given a chance to fix the issue. They have the right to do that before one goes down the rabbit hole...

The HOA is ALL the neighbors. It's NOT an individual thing. Having run a HOA and having contractors do damage, the route I go is to the contractor to resolve the issue. If not, I am certainly NOT going to spend a dime of the HOA's money. It's NOT my money to spend. It is ALL the neighbor's money. How many would agree we fork over money for this? NONE.

Former HOA President
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:384


09/30/2019 5:27 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 09/30/2019 4:51 AM
They haven't even heard back from the HOA yet and you got them going to court! 1st off it is the contractor's insurance responsibility. Of course they are going to deny the claim. It's what happens. You have the HOA contact the contractor again and get their insurance information. The HOA then has the contractor come fix the issue or file a claim on the insurance.

Your skipping the steps where the contractor is to come back and given a chance to fix the issue. They have the right to do that before one goes down the rabbit hole...

The HOA is ALL the neighbors. It's NOT an individual thing. Having run a HOA and having contractors do damage, the route I go is to the contractor to resolve the issue. If not, I am certainly NOT going to spend a dime of the HOA's money. It's NOT my money to spend. It is ALL the neighbor's money. How many would agree we fork over money for this? NONE.




Yes, the contractor should pay. If the HOA did things correctly, the contractor should have a written obligation already to the HOA to pay for damages that the HOA caused.

Melissa, again, I think highly of you and respect your views. I've just been on the other side of the table as you: I've been a homeowner who was screwed over by a HOA that absolutely refused to listen to reason or logic and refused to do what it was legally obligated to do. My situation seems like the OP's: the HOA or its contractor are liable to an owner (and the owner's direct relationship is with the HOA, so it makes sense for the owner to address the HOA first), but the HOA is stalling and has given nonsense to the owner:

"The HOA president changed the story around and I got an email from the HOA property manager saying it would be my responsibility and that the construction crew company didn't do it."

That's garbage and the HOA should have already done the right thing: paid the owner and settled up directly with the contractor. Since the HOA hasn't done so, the owner needs to take action.
PaulJ6
(New York)

Posts:384


09/30/2019 5:45 AM  
Also, to add: it's ridiculous to have to have a board meeting in mid-October over a below-$1000 expense of the contractor. If board action is needed, it can be done by written consent or a call. All that the HOA should be deciding is how to get the contractor to reimburse the HOA for the HOA's payment to the owner, which should already have been made. This is another ridiculous example of a HOA acting badly just because it thinks that it can.
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3921


09/30/2019 6:47 AM  
Posted By SaritaS on 09/28/2019 6:10 PM
He than sent me what the tech stated.


Hi Sarita.

If I understanding you correctly - the most recent communication from your BOD - which is in writing - is consistent with what you think happened.

Also, there is a BOD meeting on Oct 15 - and your issue will be addressed at that time.

I assume that since it's only a panel - the garage door is operable - even though it doesn't look good.

In your shoes, I would be annoyed with all the aggravation. But I can also see where there might have been miscommunication between BOD, Pres, PM, Contractor, Technician, Inspector, Whoever else might have thought they should have a voice in the matter. The important thing is that they are now apparently on the same page regarding your non-responsibility.

Good that you stood up for yourself. You turned things around.

Oct 15 is only 2 weeks away. You did your part. The communication screw-ups are hopefully in the past.

Have a well deserved vacation. Give them a chance to do the right thing now that their understanding of the situation is turned around.

Best of luck.


Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/30/2019 8:58 AM  
Melissa I am certainly not jumping to a lawsuit. The issue happened in mid August. It was first mentioned to the construction crew who told the HOA president (resident) she had me send an email to the Property manager all of which I did. Throughout this process I have given them time. I do not frequently bombard them with emails and updates. This meeting in mid october will be the second. Bear in mind with no documentation at first from THEIR OWN hired technician they said I was responsible. Yet after I spoke to THEIR technician he said he never changed his story from what he first told me and the president. It was in an email that the property manager said let me call them myself as I am "confused." Once he did he was told the same thing by their tech that he advised me. I feel like I have been fair and have done right in the way I have allowed more time and handled this situation, thus far.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/30/2019 8:58 AM  
Thank you LetA this is something I didn't think about!
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/30/2019 9:00 AM  
Thank you Paul.

What I find amusing is that the HOA never advised me to go after the construction company. We are not talking about thousands of dollars in damage. I cannot see why the HOA is protecting them. After all since it was determined they did the damage. I am sure the HOA could always recover the damage from the construction co.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/30/2019 9:06 AM  
NpS

I do hope they do the right thing. Because clearly the President lied and reported something different to the HOA property company (my responsibility to fix). The HOA Property manager said he never recvd communication or a report. When I knew that to be false as after I was denied I emailed and advised since I am going on vacation I called their tech myself who confirmed he had already submitted the info and had a verbal conversation the Friday before.

I am going to go on vacation. I hope that it will be resolved once I return. If not I now know my next move.

I do appreciate all the responses and suggestions on this board, and glad I posed the question.

I am trying to put things in perspective and remind myself that others in a HOA have far worse problems than myself. And not just that there are other people in worse situations than myself. So I will take a nice deep breath and prepare for my island vacation tomorrow. LOL

Have a good day!
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3921


09/30/2019 1:42 PM  
Posted By SaritaS on 09/30/2019 9:06 AM
So I will take a nice deep breath and prepare for my island vacation tomorrow. LOL


Good for you. Enjoy.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/30/2019 1:44 PM  
Nps

Hit one roadblock. Called the calif construction board as you mentioned. Because I do not have a contractual agreement with the CONSTRUCTION co. I cannot pursue and file a complaint with them. I may be able to go to court and she said that is a different matter. But I cannot file a complaint with the board.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/30/2019 1:44 PM  
Just to add she stated I was persuing it the right way..i.e through my HOA...
NpS
(Pennsylvania)

Posts:3921


09/30/2019 5:27 PM  
Posted By SaritaS on 09/30/2019 1:44 PM
Nps

Hit one roadblock. Called the calif construction board as you mentioned. Because I do not have a contractual agreement with the CONSTRUCTION co. I cannot pursue and file a complaint with them. I may be able to go to court and she said that is a different matter. But I cannot file a complaint with the board.


Hi Sarita

No, I did not promote the idea that you should go chasing this or that. I made 2 recommendations only:

1. As difficult as it might feel at the moment, give your BOD the opportunity to do the right thing.

2. Have a great vacation. You earned it. And BTW, what are you doing still thinking about this stuff? The purpose of a vacation is to get away from this stuff. Do it.

Sikubali jukumu. Read all posts at your own risk.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/30/2019 5:31 PM  
NpS

Thanks I know you weren't. I am just researching all the avenues. So I am better prepared when I come back. After all it has been over a month since I am dealing with all this stuff. Just trying to be well informed and have a plan for if they say NO. Because to be honest with you. The way she sweet talked me prior and the way the email from the property manager saying he would imagine they would fix it if it was determined only to find out I am in the mess. I would rather prepared. They just have proved to me this is not going to be easy.

I will try to focus on vacation. I still have to go home from work and pack. haha!
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


09/30/2019 5:32 PM  
As I mentioned on this thread I am going on vacation. By the time I get back it will be an old thread. ;)

I just wanted to thank each and everyone of you for taking the time to read my concern and for your input.
SaritaS
(California)

Posts:19


11/23/2019 5:04 PM  
Hello all! I just wanted to give everyone a surprising update. I left for vacation on 10/1 and arrived at my destination on 10/3. On 10/4 I got an email from the HOA management company that they would go ahead and pay for the panel to be replaced. I was taken aback since the meeting was on 10/17 and it would be discussed then. But thankful that it had been resolved and that I did not have to go to court or anything. I was able to enjoy my vacation. Except that my child got sick and of the 13 days we only enjoyed 6 days. But we still had a good time. Have a good evening, and thanks to all for your input!
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