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Subject: HOA initially approved installation of new mandated garage door but after it is installed, claims it is the wrong model and needs replacement again
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ViralD
(California)

Posts:2


06/13/2016 1:50 PM  
Location: California, U.S.

My friend was informed by his HOA that his garage door needed to be replaced to match the community. He proceeded to contact a local installer and was given a custom quote. According to the [HOA specs](https://i.imgur.com/9ruKrH9.png), they wanted a 100% vinyl door or equivalent door model. My friend happened to choose a steel door with vinyl backing that looks aesthetically exactly the same, from the same manufacturer. He emailed over the [specs/model number](https://i.imgur.com/XjyeH7C.png) to the HOA and got a [signed approval form](https://i.imgur.com/FyUDgXE.png) back from them to proceed with the replacement.

After the installation, HOA came out to inspect the door and states that this was not what they wanted and renegades on their approval, saying that they would never approve that steel door. [They are asking for it to be removed and installed with the correct door.](https://i.imgur.com/ev1HhTN.png) My friend would be out another couple thousand dollars.

Does my friend have any legal grounds here on refusing to change the door a second time? He explicitly emailed over the door model and it was approved by the dept. head of the HOA. He has a chain of emails as proof his door model was approved.

tl;dr - HOA wants vinyl garage door (8700), friend sends over a steel & vinyl door (8024) for approval and got it, proceeds with replacement, HOA then inspects and says it's the wrong door and to replace again.
DonA2
(Arizona)

Posts:170


06/13/2016 2:04 PM  
If the door looks the same as the others in the neighborhood and the HOA approved it before hand, then I think the HOA is wrong i demanding that it be changed.
PitA


Posts:0


06/13/2016 2:09 PM  
What one 'thinks' is immaterial.

What the contract STATES is material.

The contract states 'vinyl'.

? Is it worth finding out what the Judge says ?
DonA2
(Arizona)

Posts:170


06/13/2016 2:39 PM  
But what was sent to the board stated the model number and description of what the owner was intending to buy. And it was approved. If the Architectural committee didn't like the owner using a different door, it should have denied the request.
ViralD
(California)

Posts:2


06/13/2016 2:48 PM  
The approval is shown through a chain of emails, where in one email the model number/specs was emailed, along with the approval form to be returned back signed by the HOA. The approval form only had a generic "Garage door" and no specs/model number.

I don't have the approval showing the model number contained in one single document unfortunately.

So that makes it a little complicated.
LarryB13
(Arizona)

Posts:4099


06/13/2016 4:59 PM  
Viral:

Your HOA left the door open (no pun intended) for substitutions when it wrote: "The only permissible door is Model 8700 Premium Vinyl Door manufactured by Wayne Dalton Corp., or approved equivalent." [Italics added.]

The statement is ambiguous. First it says there is one and only one choice but then says there are other choices that might be approved. The HOA created the ambiguity and the law generally holds the person who created an ambiguity liable for resulting problems.

Bottom line is that if the HOA wants a different door installed then they should pay for it.

TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16417


06/13/2016 6:20 PM  
Viral,

Your friend went on good faith with approval in hand to install the door.

If the Association now wants it changed, then your friend may be able to sue for damages (what it costs to remove the existing door and replace it with the approved door). However, a simple letter from an attorney stating that your friend would rather resolve the issue vs. suing for damages, might go a long way.

Your friend will of course need to speak with an attorney to see if that option is realistic.


The other option is to take pictures of the door and pictures of other doors in the neighborhood and ask for a meeting of the Board. Then ask them to identify which door is the wrong one. If they can't then, the approval should stand as there appears to be nothing aesthetically wrong.
ND
(PA)

Posts:330


06/15/2016 12:18 PM  
Seems pretty cut and dry . . . if what has been stated is accurate:

1) Docs state that only permissible door is X or approved equivalent.

2) An equivalent (in eyes of owner) was submitted (assuming there is tangible evidence of submission).

3) Approval was obtained of what was submitted (assuming there is tangible evidence of an approval of what was submitted). Onus was on review authority to determine equivalency before approving. If not equivalent, it should have been rejected.

4) Approved door was installed. Now HOA wants a different door. Tell them nicely to "pound sand". Changing door at this point is idiotic (especially if aesthetically similar) and will only cost every owner money.

5) Any change from what now exists shall be agreed upon by both parties (homeowner and board) and paid in full by the board/HOA to homeowner before any work is done. Homeowner should not have to pay out of pocket and await reimbursement by board/HOA for their screwup.
JamesG11
(Florida)

Posts:118


06/17/2016 4:55 AM  
If the HOA issued a written approval of your friend's application -- and the application accurately reflected the type of garage door that is now in -- the HOA typically would be precluded from changing its position (the legal concept is known as "estoppel"). Your friend's CC&Rs may also speak to this issue directly (most do).

Having said that, it is always best to consult with an experienced HOA attorney in one's state before drawing any "lines in the sand" based on advice appearing in this forum.
MelaniW
(Maryland)

Posts:8


07/03/2019 6:53 AM  
Your friend should be okay regarding keeping the installed garage door as is, because of the signed architectural approval.

However, there could be other circumstances which would be in the Board's favor.

Bottom line, your friend acted in good faith and should be able to hold his ground. But, he should realize that the association may take him to court, and he may or may not get an attorney to defend himself, which would incur costs.

Even if he is in the right, it is still a difficult position to be at odds with the Board. Many times in this instance, an agreement is made that all parties agree that the garage door is in violation, but doesn't need to be replaced right now. There could be an agreement that the door will be replaced before the home is sold, or the prospective buyer will be notified that the door isn't allowed.

This agreement will protect the association from allowing additional homeowners putting up that incorrect garage door.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:3135


07/03/2019 11:56 AM  
The original question was asked 3 years ago.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > HOA initially approved installation of new mandated garage door but after it is installed, claims it is the wrong model and needs replacement again



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