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Subject: Rights of Contractors/Owners in Unit Repair
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Author Messages
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:288


05/14/2020 1:59 AM  
Several attached condos need to have their ceiling beams repaired for which the HOA is responsible. Homeowners will need to vacate during the repairs and occupancy will only be permitted after an inspector declares it safe. These repairs will take place in the summer in Arizona. Who has the right to control the thermostat setting for each individual owner's air conditioning unit? Obviously the thermostat setting is a matter of personal preference. Some people have their air conditioning temperature set at 90 and use ceiling fans or portable fans, others have it set at 82 and others at 70. Should the contractor or the homeowner via instruction have the right to turn on the air conditioning and set the temperature? Since these repairs will take multiple days, is an owner basically at the mercy of the contractors and whether they leave lights, a/c on when not working etc.?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9306


05/14/2020 4:53 AM  
Is this another "hypothetical"? Who is responsible is the person paying the utility bill and/or the repairs for the equipment if it fails. Which is the homeowner.

Former HOA President
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:953


05/14/2020 5:23 AM  
I say the workers set the temperatures. Good lord, man, it's summer in Arizona! It's one thing to sit on your hinder all day in an 82 degree home, it's another to do manual labor in it. The workers may well refuse to work in unsafe working conditions and risk things like heat stroke.

People who live in condos need to understand that it isn't all about them. They have obligations to the association as a whole, and sometimes they gotta take one for the team. It's in their best interest that the building not fall down around their ears, and sometimes that may involve additional costs.

I can practically guarantee that some of these folks will insist that the association pay for the extra electricity used. That actually may not be totally out of line, although I don't know how you'd determine an accurate dollar amount since you'll have other things like weather that cause fluctuations in energy bills.

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3224


05/14/2020 6:21 AM  
I'm with Cathy - are you telling me your homeowners are incapable of turning the temperature back to where it was before the contractors got there?

Can they not write down the temperature setting and post it next to the unit controls so the contractors will know where to reset it when they leave for the day? Maybe some of them should invest in a programmable thermostat. I have a portable fan where you can set the temperature and now there are smart ceiling fans that do the same thing. You can even buy a control to set up your current ceiling fan and control it with an app on your phone.

This really isn't rocket science - sometimes people need to do some thinking for themselves
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:300


05/14/2020 6:42 AM  
This question is so silly I simply don't know what to say.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2681


05/14/2020 7:14 AM  
More hypo nonsense?
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:288


05/14/2020 8:35 AM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/14/2020 6:42 AM
This question is so silly I simply don't know what to say.





Why do you think this is silly? How would you like being a homeowner who finds out the contractor set the thermostat at 65 degrees and as you may or may not realize, utility rates are high where I live and many cannot afford their summer bills.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:288


05/14/2020 8:36 AM  
Posted By MelissaP1 on 05/14/2020 4:53 AM
Is this another "hypothetical"? Who is responsible is the person paying the utility bill and/or the repairs for the equipment if it fails. Which is the homeowner.





Homeowner pays utility bills.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:300


05/14/2020 9:59 AM  
Posted By NpB on 05/14/2020 8:35 AM
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/14/2020 6:42 AM
This question is so silly I simply don't know what to say.





Why do you think this is silly? How would you like being a homeowner who finds out the contractor set the thermostat at 65 degrees and as you may or may not realize, utility rates are high where I live and many cannot afford their summer bills.




At most it would aggravate me but other than ask that it be kept at maybe 72 degrees I wouldn't complain. This is common decency. I don't expect contractors to work in my house under horrible conditions because I have a heart. If a 7-10 degree difference over a 2-3 day period is going to cause them a financial hardship then they have much bigger problems. I realize my response is not a 'legal' answer but I don't care. This is a silly, silly question for this forum.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:288


05/14/2020 1:03 PM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/14/2020 9:59 AM
Posted By NpB on 05/14/2020 8:35 AM
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/14/2020 6:42 AM
This question is so silly I simply don't know what to say.





Why do you think this is silly? How would you like being a homeowner who finds out the contractor set the thermostat at 65 degrees and as you may or may not realize, utility rates are high where I live and many cannot afford their summer bills.




At most it would aggravate me but other than ask that it be kept at maybe 72 degrees I wouldn't complain. This is common decency. I don't expect contractors to work in my house under horrible conditions because I have a heart. If a 7-10 degree difference over a 2-3 day period is going to cause them a financial hardship then they have much bigger problems. I realize my response is not a 'legal' answer but I don't care. This is a silly, silly question for this forum.





Not a silly question at all.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3224


05/14/2020 1:10 PM  
I usually say there are no stupid questions, only the ones you don't ask, but honestly, JoB this one does tip to the absurd. I don't know if your utility company has a budget plan, but if it does, homeowners should consider applying for it. The programmable thermostats, ceiling fans and portable fans were developed in part to help people regulars energy use and save a few dollars in the process.

I don't expect a contractor to roast in someone home during a year wave (or a typical day in Tempe during July), but this simply a matter of turning the air conditioner, can whatever off and on. If the homeowners can't figure that out, I don't know what to say - how did they come to be homeowners?

If this is one of your hypotheticals, put this away and come back to it IF a problem develops. I understand wanting to have a plan in place, but you can't always predict everything.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:300


05/14/2020 1:20 PM  
Whatever you say. By the way, if the contractor has to take a dump who should supply the toilet paper? If it's the owner, does he or she have the right to limit the contractor to how many squares can be used?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9461


05/14/2020 2:08 PM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/14/2020 1:20 PM
Whatever you say. By the way, if the contractor has to take a dump who should supply the toilet paper? If it's the owner, does he or she have the right to limit the contractor to how many squares can be used?




You asked it before he did...LOL
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:288


05/14/2020 3:39 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 05/14/2020 1:10 PM
I usually say there are no stupid questions, only the ones you don't ask, but honestly, JoB this one does tip to the absurd. I don't know if your utility company has a budget plan, but if it does, homeowners should consider applying for it. The programmable thermostats, ceiling fans and portable fans were developed in part to help people regulars energy use and save a few dollars in the process.

I don't expect a contractor to roast in someone home during a year wave (or a typical day in Tempe during July), but this simply a matter of turning the air conditioner, can whatever off and on. If the homeowners can't figure that out, I don't know what to say - how did they come to be homeowners?

If this is one of your hypotheticals, put this away and come back to it IF a problem develops. I understand wanting to have a plan in place, but you can't always predict everything.





I feel this is an important question because it comes down to the rights of homeowners vs the rights of an HOA in a situation where statutes are absent.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9306


05/14/2020 3:56 PM  
Rights? This isn't a rights situation. It's just common courtesy. Have you ever worked as a contractor or with them? Let me tell you they would NOT touch someone's thermostat. Heck you'd be lucky if you get one to close a door!

I've worked as an Electrician's assistant. Had to go up to attic spaces in Alabama summers to install ceiling fans. Well over 100 degrees, no air movement, and rat turds... My electrical system had to be replaced one summer. The workers spent 12 hours in a house with no electrical. Well over 100 degrees. (I spent a week with 4 dogs in that heat). I've helped build over 25 houses and we never bothered concerning ourselves over using the air/water/electrical.

So I have no idea why this would even be a concern or much thought. I can understand maybe water usage for certain projects. However, the actual environment for heat/cool it's not even a consideration.

Former HOA President
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:9461


05/14/2020 4:39 PM  
NpB

This is not a BOD issue. It is between the homeowner and the contractor. Get you nose out of it.
BenA2
(Texas)

Posts:707


05/14/2020 5:31 PM  
Posted By NpB on 05/14/2020 8:35 AM
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/14/2020 6:42 AM
This question is so silly I simply don't know what to say.





Why do you think this is silly? How would you like being a homeowner who finds out the contractor set the thermostat at 65 degrees and as you may or may not realize, utility rates are high where I live and many cannot afford their summer bills.


I honestly would not care. Even if the job took a month, the increase in the electric bill would be negligible compared to the job you are paying them to do they are doing.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2681


05/14/2020 8:26 PM  
Hypo nonsense?
JeffT
(Maryland)

Posts:83


05/18/2020 7:37 AM  
This is not hypo nonsense. we currently have a sidng project going on in our condo assoc. Some homeowners are complaining about the contractor plugging into their outlets to run some saws and equipment. We also have gutter cleaning that goes on and the homeowners complain about the contracting hooking up to their hose bib.

So should these extra expense be shared among all condo owners or just the lucky ones, regardless of how minimal or expensive the cost is?
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:258


05/18/2020 8:22 AM  
Who is paying for the loss of use of the units, the owners or the HOA?
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:953


05/18/2020 10:00 AM  
Posted By JeffT on 05/18/2020 7:37 AM
This is not hypo nonsense. we currently have a sidng project going on in our condo assoc. Some homeowners are complaining about the contractor plugging into their outlets to run some saws and equipment. We also have gutter cleaning that goes on and the homeowners complain about the contracting hooking up to their hose bib.

So should these extra expense be shared among all condo owners or just the lucky ones, regardless of how minimal or expensive the cost is?




I think that in theory it should be a condo expense (ie, shared). The problem is determining how much electricity has been used by the contractors, since there are other factors that can make bills vary from the historical average. On the other hand, at some point everyone is going to have their siding worked on, so over time it should all average out. In theory.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2681


05/19/2020 8:04 AM  
Hypo nonsense?
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:288


05/19/2020 5:02 PM  
Posted By JeffT on 05/18/2020 7:37 AM
This is not hypo nonsense. we currently have a sidng project going on in our condo assoc. Some homeowners are complaining about the contractor plugging into their outlets to run some saws and equipment. We also have gutter cleaning that goes on and the homeowners complain about the contracting hooking up to their hose bib.

So should these extra expense be shared among all condo owners or just the lucky ones, regardless of how minimal or expensive the cost is?





Good post. Too bad others are so critical unnecessarily.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:300


05/19/2020 5:30 PM  
Since you are so fond of hypothetical scenarios let's continue with the example you gave where the homeowner doesn't want their AC used or leaves it at a high temperature. Because the contractors were repairing beams in your story let's assume that means they will be working on ladders. It's hot inside and the contractor is sweating like a pig because it's hot as hell inside. He starts to climb the ladder and the sweat is pouring down his face. As he nears the top sweat gets in his eyes and his natural instinct is to wipe it away so he can see. He let's go of the ladder and falls, landing on his back and causing major injuries. The contractor then decides to sue the homeowner and the HOA for unsafe working conditions because he was not allowed to set the temperature at a reasonable setting. Would he win? I have no idea but people sue for anything these days. Was the homeowner's need to pinch pennies worth the ensuing fiasco? Now before you say my hypothetical is ridiculous my answer is it's no more ridiculous than your original hypothetical was.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:300


05/19/2020 5:58 PM  
This is a continuation of my last post. I accidentally hit the submit button. Here's my take on this as an HOA board member.

Now let's continue on with the AC hypothetical situation from an HOA perspective. The first thing I would do is ask the complaining homeowner where in the governing documents does it state that the HOA reimburses for utility costs that are a result of repairs being done on there unit? Since they aren't going to be able to do this I would tell them to go pound sand and the conversation would end. Here's some other things to ponder:

1.) Even if the HOA wanted to, how would they calculate what amount should be reimbursed by the HOA? In your scenario the owners have vacated the unit. Let's assume the contractors work from 9-5. During this period they will obviously use electricity. However after 5:00PM it is reasonable to assume that less electricity will be used since no one is there. Do the two offset each other? Does the board have the right to insist that the homeowner show their average electricity usage between 5:00PM and 9:00AM the next morning? If you argue we don't, why wouldn't we? We are applying the same mentality as the homeowner. After all this about the cost of the electricity right down to the penny.

2.) What recourse does the homeowner have in the scenario that you laid out? In your scenario they are either extremely cheap or they are in financial trouble. Either way, would they be willing to fund a law suite that will cost x times more than the alleged cost of the extra electricity that the contractor has used? I highly doubt it and I would take my chances and continue to tell them to go pound sand.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:288


05/19/2020 8:09 PM  
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/19/2020 5:30 PM
Since you are so fond of hypothetical scenarios let's continue with the example you gave where the homeowner doesn't want their AC used or leaves it at a high temperature. Because the contractors were repairing beams in your story let's assume that means they will be working on ladders. It's hot inside and the contractor is sweating like a pig because it's hot as hell inside. He starts to climb the ladder and the sweat is pouring down his face. As he nears the top sweat gets in his eyes and his natural instinct is to wipe it away so he can see. He let's go of the ladder and falls, landing on his back and causing major injuries. The contractor then decides to sue the homeowner and the HOA for unsafe working conditions because he was not allowed to set the temperature at a reasonable setting. Would he win? I have no idea but people sue for anything these days. Was the homeowner's need to pinch pennies worth the ensuing fiasco? Now before you say my hypothetical is ridiculous my answer is it's no more ridiculous than your original hypothetical was.





Worked not covered under OSHA rules, since contract is between HOA and contractor, not homeowner. Also a roofer can't sue the sun for heat stroke.
JohnT38
(South Carolina)

Posts:300


05/20/2020 4:17 AM  
Posted By NpB on 05/19/2020 8:09 PM
Posted By JohnT38 on 05/19/2020 5:30 PM
Since you are so fond of hypothetical scenarios let's continue with the example you gave where the homeowner doesn't want their AC used or leaves it at a high temperature. Because the contractors were repairing beams in your story let's assume that means they will be working on ladders. It's hot inside and the contractor is sweating like a pig because it's hot as hell inside. He starts to climb the ladder and the sweat is pouring down his face. As he nears the top sweat gets in his eyes and his natural instinct is to wipe it away so he can see. He let's go of the ladder and falls, landing on his back and causing major injuries. The contractor then decides to sue the homeowner and the HOA for unsafe working conditions because he was not allowed to set the temperature at a reasonable setting. Would he win? I have no idea but people sue for anything these days. Was the homeowner's need to pinch pennies worth the ensuing fiasco? Now before you say my hypothetical is ridiculous my answer is it's no more ridiculous than your original hypothetical was.





Worked not covered under OSHA rules, since contract is between HOA and contractor, not homeowner. Also a roofer can't sue the sun for heat stroke.




Google "can a contractor sue a homeowner". Also, since we are playing with your hypothetical the worker was inside and not on the roof. Anybody can sue for anything they want. They may lose but they can sure drag the HOA through the mud while they're doing it.
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