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Subject: Small Claims Court?
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06/04/2021 12:13 PM  
I'm in the middle of a dispute with my HOA after our place flooded from bad pipes and bad repair work from the unit above. The HOA first buckled and sent out a plumber to do repairs after no one informed the girl on the 3rd floor and our place flooded a second time. To make the repairs they had to cut holes in our ceiling to reach the 3 seperate leaks. The HOA first stated that it was an owner to owner issue but the guy upstairs absolutely refused to take responsibility and suggested I sue the HOA. The HOA then sent an email implying that they would pay for the repairs so I pulled the trigger on a contractor. It's only $1,800 but when I submitted the invoice they changed their tune and now claim that "homeowners/residents are responsible for the repairs to their individual units for damages caused by another owner’s unit or, exclusive area."

I'm a first time home owner and have never dealt with an HOA before but this seems crazy. My wife and I want to take this to small claims court but I'm trying to determine if we have a shot at winning first.

Any input you have would be helpful.

Thank you,


06/04/2021 12:16 PM  
Posted By EricH17 on 06/04/2021 12:13 PM
The HOA first buckled and sent out a plumber to do repairs after no one informed the girl on the 3rd floor
Are you sure it was not a woman?

A minor female who causes property damage may not be liable, due to being below the age of contractual consent. Whence you should involve your insurer.


06/04/2021 12:16 PM  
Have you contacted your homeowners insurance. Typically they deal with sticky messes like these so you don't have to go to court yourself. That's what you pay insurance for.
(South Carolina)


06/04/2021 8:09 PM  
Typically he way this works is one files a claim on their own insurance then your
insurance subrogates on the associations insurance.


06/04/2021 8:59 PM  
The way it works in California is the owner would file a claim with THEIR insurance company (hopefully you have a HO-6 policy). They in turn would speak with the association's insurance company to determine if the CCRs cover such damage. If not then it would be on you and hopefully your policy was also written off the association CCRs if you so desired.

There are many times, because of the amount of claims, the association, in order to keep premiums under control may have a high deductible. In this instance, the HOA may be responsible, subject to you paying the deductible.

The limits of the association's policy as well as the deductibles are sent to homeowners annually as part of their disclosure requirement. These are sent 30 days prior to the close of the association's fiscal year.


06/05/2021 6:00 AM  
I agree with others: give this to your insurance agent. They will figure out whether the HOA or the unit owner above is responsible for damages and then sort it out with their insurers.

It will likely depend on who owns the pipes that caused the flooding and what type of insurance your association carries (all-included or bare walls). You can find out how that is determined by reading your CC&Rs (that thick wad of paper you received when you bought your home). There should be a section that defines "unit", "common elements" and "limited (exclusive use) common elements" and a different section that addresses insurance requirements.
(South Carolina)


06/05/2021 6:53 AM  
I agree with other posters to start with your insurance company.
PIA when something was not your fault but that is how it works.
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Forums > Homeowner Association > HOA Discussions > Small Claims Court?

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