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Subject: Foundation
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Author Messages
SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/21/2021 6:02 PM  
Is the Hoa responsibility for foundation if the house settles? Engineer report say that the ground as shifted
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1584


04/21/2021 6:25 PM  
You haven't provided enough info to give an opinion. Are these single family homes, condos, something else? What do you governing docs say about the association responsibilities?

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/21/2021 6:42 PM  
We are Six attached townhouses!!
SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/21/2021 6:44 PM  
What r the govern doc. Are u referring to the bi aws?
DouglasK1
(Florida)

Posts:1584


04/21/2021 7:25 PM  
The doc that covers responsibilities is usually known as Covenants, CCRs, Deed restrictions, or master deed. Bylaws often exist but they are usually targeted at the running of the HOA corporation/organization rather than who is responsible for what.

Escaped former treasurer and director of a self managed association.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1888


04/22/2021 5:26 AM  
Your governing docs should describe what you personally own and what is owned by the HOA.

For attached townhome-style properties, it can go either way: in some communities the HOA will own the foundations and the ground beneath them, in other communities homeowners own the entire structure of their homes as well as some portion of the land beneath them. The governing docs should also spell out who is responsible for what, but in general it's the owner of that particular piece who is responsible for upkeep.

Also in general:

Ground will settle to some extent after construction, as will homes. (It's why they often recommend delaying radon testing for a year, because initial readings can be misleading.) This is normal.

Significant amounts of settlement are a different matter. This can result from things like ground tremors/slight earthquakes, excessive precipitation causing land slides, and other natural causes. It can also result from some kind of negligence, such as the HOA failing to maintain swales and adequate drainage around the buildings. Significant settlement can cause structural issues in a home - if you see horizontal cracks in your walls, you have a structural issue that needs prompt attention; minor vertical cracks are usually not a problem.

Insurance can cover the natural causes of settlement (assuming the policies are written correctly) but not negligence.

So, bottom line... it depends. We need more info to answer your question: who owns what, what your governing docs say about responsibilities, and the nature of your issue. Ditto if your 6-unit building is the entire association, or if there are other buildings in your community. Ditto if you have a property manager or if you are self-managed.

SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/22/2021 6:03 AM  
Thank You!!! I have read over my governing Doc but its very confusing on who is responsible.

Claim was put into Insurance and was denied. (Was told house had settled)

6-unit building is the entire association, no property manger it is self-managed. Owner purchased the house
about 12 years ago, when house was inspected was told there could be issues but never told the association. Now
saying have problem with floors and house sinking..
SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/22/2021 6:03 AM  
Thank You!!! I have read over my governing Doc but its very confusing on who is responsible.

Claim was put into Insurance and was denied. (Was told house had settled)

6-unit building is the entire association, no property manger it is self-managed. Owner purchased the house
about 12 years ago, when house was inspected was told there could be issues but never told the association. Now
saying have problem with floors and house sinking..
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1888


04/22/2021 6:36 AM  
Have any other owners complained? Since the homes are attached, there may be similar issues in the adjacent unit(s).

You'll probably need to get a structural engineer or other professional to do an on-site inspection and see what's going on. There are too many things this could be, and you'll need to know exactly what it is before you decide who has to pay for repairs.
SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/22/2021 6:41 AM  
Thank you Cathy, you are correct. I live next door and no issues and have not heard of any other having issues and they are aware of the problem.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10952


04/22/2021 11:48 AM  
Susan

In 1-2-3-4-5-6 which unit is yours and which is the other?
SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/22/2021 1:24 PM  
Mine is the 5... Unit with issues is the 6th
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10952


04/22/2021 1:33 PM  
Posted By SusanT13 on 04/22/2021 1:24 PM
Mine is the 5... Unit with issues is the 6th



The reason I asked was I suspected any foundation issues would be with an end unit. As suggested, you are going to have to review your Covenants as to responsibility. It might come down to a legal issue.

What they were "allegedly" told 12 years ago and they never notified/asked the HOA about it means nothing. Best it is not even discussed as I say it is not relevant. Have they recently questioned the BOD about responsibility?
SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/22/2021 1:59 PM  
What is BOD?
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:10952


04/22/2021 2:03 PM  
Posted By SusanT13 on 04/22/2021 1:59 PM
What is BOD?



Board Of Directors. Even in a small HOA such as yours there should be some people elected to "run/manage" the place. Who get and pays the bills of the HOA?
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:10131


04/22/2021 2:04 PM  
BOD is Board of Directors of the HOA. What insurance did they try to claim against? Was it the HOA's or was it their own insurance? I suspect they may need to start the process with their own insurance before going to the HOA.

House sinking isn't as bad as one may think. I went to a school that was sinking about 2 inches every few years. It was built on an old garbage dump. So engineers should be involved in evaluating the situation.

The HOA being responsible means ALL the owners having to pay for it. Are all the members be on board for this?

Former HOA President
SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/23/2021 9:16 AM  
House that has issues is the Chair Person, He has filed a claim with the HOA Insurance and Flood insurance, but not his own.
Other owner are not ok for paying for it. He has only gotten one estimate and no engineer.

SusanT13
(Massachusetts)

Posts:10


04/23/2021 9:16 AM  
House that has issues is the Chair Person, He has filed a claim with the HOA Insurance and Flood insurance, but not his own.
Other owner are not ok for paying for it. He has only gotten one estimate and no engineer.

CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1888


04/23/2021 10:17 AM  
Posted By SusanT13 on 04/23/2021 9:16 AM
House that has issues is the Chair Person, He has filed a claim with the HOA Insurance and Flood insurance, but not his own.
Other owner are not ok for paying for it. He has only gotten one estimate and no engineer.





It doesn't matter what he or anyone else "wants" - it's what your CC&Rs and your insurance policies say about who is responsible for what. The only reason I can think of to file claims with both insurers is if it's unclear about which policy will cover the damage and letting the insurers fight it out. On the other hand, if he or the HOA haven't gotten a professional's opinion about what's actually going on or gotten more than one estimate, the insurers may not be willing to make a decision.


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