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Subject: Surprise Charge for Limited Common Element Repair
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Author Messages
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:488


08/11/2021 1:20 PM  
Nine months ago, I received an e-mail from my HOA indicating that in preparation for the complex wide painting project, certain limited common elements that are part of the exterior of a unit need to be repaired and that affected owners will be notified in the next few weeks if repairs are required. I never received any written notification that the limited common elements of my unit were affected. Fast forward nine months, and I receive a charge for repairs to my garage door trim. This charge is a separate line item, however it was added to the monthly HOA dues, so that charge, plus the regular monthly assessment are due on the 1st of September.

I did verify in the owner packet provided to all owners that garage door trim is 100% the responsibility of the individual owner. This homeowner packet also states "This guide outlines the general parameters that will be used to apportion responsibility. The unique facts of each situation will be taken into consideration when determining responsibility. This is a guide, not a contract." The owner packet also states "There is no provision that allows the HOA to "waive" these expenses or to "exempt" any unit owner form his/her legal obligation to the Association." I also discovered that A.R.S. 33-1255(C1) states "Any common expense or portion of a common expense benefitting fewer than all of the units shall be assessed exclusively against the units benefitted."

I acknowledge the aforementioned paragraph, but if I was never notified that my limited common element needed repair, nor given the opportunity to make the repairs myself before a certain deadline (most likely at a far less cost that what the HOA billed me for), how likely appealable and reversible is this charge? On one hand, state law is pretty clear, but then the HOA's owner packet states "This is a guide, not a contract."

What convincing points would you mention in an appeal of this charge?
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/11/2021 3:25 PM  
Posted By NpB on 08/11/2021 1:20 PM
What convincing points would you mention in an appeal of this charge?
Based on experience, including awareness of all the hassles involved here on both sides and maybe especially the hassle of repairing the trim myself, whether I would appeal would depend on how much the bill was.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:488


08/11/2021 3:44 PM  
The amount of the charge in my opinion is significant/high based on the repairs. It's an easy way for the contractor to make a huge profit.

I couldn't find any A.R.S. HOA statutes that requires an HOA to inform an owner first about repairs done to limited common elements by the HOA. I don't know if there any corporation statutes that prohibit an HOA from making a limited common element repair without first notifying the owner. This was not an emergency repair.


KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


08/11/2021 6:14 PM  
Do they have to come through your unit to make the trim repair? If not, and though I think they have informed you in writing in advance of the work the HOA did, I don't think you should spend any energy on this.

Unlike your "Guide," your CC&Rs should states who is responsible for certain limited common areas. If like ours, your CC&Rs might even say that if an Owner does not maintain their limited common area, the assn. can do so and chanre the owners an "enforcement assessment." Say, is that phrase in your CC&Rs??
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:488


08/11/2021 7:03 PM  
That phrase is not in CC&Rs. The repairs were done to the exterior limited common elements, in this case the exterior garage door trim.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:2600


08/12/2021 5:16 AM  
Depending on how much I thought I'd been overcharged - which is subjective - I'd be inclined to let it go. I got nice, new door trim that matches everybody else's door trim without having to stir a finger - and maybe my time is worth the difference in amount.

Maybe the HOA messed up, maybe your notification is still bouncing around the USPS along with last year's holiday greeting cards, ... who knows? At least it appears that an effort was made to do this properly, and I think that's where I'd draw the line - I'd have a different reaction if I thought they were not following the CC&Rs or were careless about it.
KerryL1
(California)

Posts:8729


08/12/2021 9:07 AM  
Excuse my typo. HOA should have informed NpB.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:488


08/12/2021 11:31 AM  
I understand. Do you think it is proper protocol or ethically right for the HOA to make non-emergency repairs to a unit without the owner's consent?
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:488


08/13/2021 11:55 AM  
Arizona Revised Statutes Title 10: Corporations and Associations is silent on requiring notification of an owner before a corporation or association makes repair to an owner's limited common element, as is the Arizona Condominium Act (Title 33, Chapter 9). My conclusion is that A.R.S. 33-1255 (C1) prevails and gives the HOA the authority to bill me for repair to the garage door trim.

Essentially, I am powerless to challenge this fee and if I don't pay, there could be financial consequences. Knowing that, would it be fruitful or useless to ask the Board why I wasn't informed prior to repair and to suggest in the future they inform owners by Certified Mail?
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/13/2021 12:40 PM  
Posted By NpB on 08/11/2021 1:20 PM
I did verify in the owner packet provided to all owners that garage door trim is 100% the responsibility of the individual owner.
Can you verify that the covenants say this as well? I imagine they do, but you should have the covenant section ready to cite.
Posted By NpB on 08/13/2021 11:55 AM
Arizona Revised Statutes Title 10: Corporations and Associations is silent on requiring notification of an owner before a corporation or association makes repair to an owner's limited common element, as is the Arizona Condominium Act (Title 33, Chapter 9). My conclusion is that A.R.S. 33-1255 (C1) prevails and gives the HOA the authority to bill me for repair to the garage door trim.
"Prevails" is not how I would describe the effect of ARS 33-1255 (C) (1) on this disagreement you are having. I do not consider ARS 33-125 (C) (1) relevant at this point. Why? Because this statute section refers to "Any common expense associated with... " Yada yada. You presumably have a covenant that says that maintenance of the garage door trim is the owner's responsibility. Therefore, such maintenance is an owner's expense, not a common expense.
Essentially, I am powerless to challenge this fee and if I don't pay, there could be financial consequences. Knowing that, would it be fruitful or useless to ask the Board why I wasn't informed prior to repair and to suggest in the future they inform owners by Certified Mail?
FWIW: I encourage you to write the Board; quote the covenant and the owner packet indicating that the owner has responsibility for garage door trim; include a copy of the email stating that the HOA would inform owners of needed repairs to the trim; and indicate that you relied on the email in not making repairs. Conclude with: I respectfully request that I not be assessed for this repair.

Because what the HOA did here was not cool.

I advise leaving out any editorial comments suggesting the contractor is ripping people off. This is nothing you can prove. It is not relevant. Talking like this in a letter distracts from your main point: They should have told you. They promised to tell you. The trim is yours to maintain by the contract that the covenants are. Follow the contract and your promises, H.O.A.
NpB
(Arizona)

Posts:488


08/13/2021 1:00 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 08/13/2021 12:40 PM
Posted By NpB on 08/11/2021 1:20 PM
I did verify in the owner packet provided to all owners that garage door trim is 100% the responsibility of the individual owner.
Can you verify that the covenants say this as well? I imagine they do, but you should have the covenant section ready to cite.
Posted By NpB on 08/13/2021 11:55 AM
Arizona Revised Statutes Title 10: Corporations and Associations is silent on requiring notification of an owner before a corporation or association makes repair to an owner's limited common element, as is the Arizona Condominium Act (Title 33, Chapter 9). My conclusion is that A.R.S. 33-1255 (C1) prevails and gives the HOA the authority to bill me for repair to the garage door trim.
"Prevails" is not how I would describe the effect of ARS 33-1255 (C) (1) on this disagreement you are having. I do not consider ARS 33-125 (C) (1) relevant at this point. Why? Because this statute section refers to "Any common expense associated with... " Yada yada. You presumably have a covenant that says that maintenance of the garage door trim is the owner's responsibility. Therefore, such maintenance is an owner's expense, not a common expense.
Essentially, I am powerless to challenge this fee and if I don't pay, there could be financial consequences. Knowing that, would it be fruitful or useless to ask the Board why I wasn't informed prior to repair and to suggest in the future they inform owners by Certified Mail?
FWIW: I encourage you to write the Board; quote the covenant and the owner packet indicating that the owner has responsibility for garage door trim; include a copy of the email stating that the HOA would inform owners of needed repairs to the trim; and indicate that you relied on the email in not making repairs. Conclude with: I respectfully request that I not be assessed for this repair.

Because what the HOA did here was not cool.

I advise leaving out any editorial comments suggesting the contractor is ripping people off. This is nothing you can prove. It is not relevant. Talking like this in a letter distracts from your main point: They should have told you. They promised to tell you. The trim is yours to maintain by the contract that the covenants are. Follow the contract and your promises, H.O.A.





The covenants do not state that limited common elements are 100% the responsibility of the individual owner. Only A.R.S. 33-1255 (C1) and the individual owner packet, which includes a responsibility guide for maintenance, repairs, replacement and property upgrades confirm this. The individual packet states "Since January 1, 2009, Arizona law provides that HOA must charge costs back to owners for repairs to the limited common elements." The packet also states "Since January 1, 2009, Arizona law takes precedence over HOA's governing documents." The Arizona law the packet cites is A.R.S. 33-1255 (C1).
AugustinD


Posts:1920


08/13/2021 1:21 PM  
Posted By NpB on 08/13/2021 1:00 PM
The covenants do not state that limited common elements are 100% the responsibility of the individual owner.
Then I'd say that the communications from the HOA were sloppy, and it's not at all clear that the HOA did wrong by billing you.

As you first suggested, I think it's not going to raise hackles on the board or at the PM's office if write a polite letter with a copy of the email from some months ago, and suggest that in the future the HOA inform owners of (1) repairs the HOA thinks are the owner's responsibility, and (2) when the repairs must be completed. Then let the chips fall where they may.

Or, given what you say about the covenants, let it go.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:11665


08/13/2021 2:27 PM  
Posted By AugustinD on 08/13/2021 1:21 PM
Posted By NpB on 08/13/2021 1:00 PM
The covenants do not state that limited common elements are 100% the responsibility of the individual owner.
Then I'd say that the communications from the HOA were sloppy, and it's not at all clear that the HOA did wrong by billing you.

As you first suggested, I think it's not going to raise hackles on the board or at the PM's office if write a polite letter with a copy of the email from some months ago, and suggest that in the future the HOA inform owners of (1) repairs the HOA thinks are the owner's responsibility, and (2) when the repairs must be completed. Then let the chips fall where they may.

Or, given what you say about the covenants, let it go.



I agree.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Surprise Charge for Limited Common Element Repair



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