Condo Damage Caused By Contractors Hired By The HOA: Who Pays?

Condo Damage Caused By Contractors Hired By The HOA: Who Pays?For those who live in a condo, they know that there are numerous advantages that come with this living arrangement. Living in a condo means that other people are going to be responsible for landscaping and common areas while homeowners are still able to build equity in the home.

At the same time, the HOA has quite a bit of power and one of the biggest concerns that people might have involves who pays for the damage in the event that something in the building has been damaged. There are a few important points to keep in mind.

Roof Replacement Contractors

Sometimes, the HOA might hire contractors to work on the roof. During this process, there might be a leak that develops in the roof. This could leak through and damage condos that are on the top floor of the building. This could damage the kitchen ceiling. The association might try to get out of paying to fix certain damages.

It is important to note that those who live in a condo building buy into everything that goes along with ownership. This includes the management and the contractors that are hired by the manager.

Read The Document Carefully

When people move into a condo building, there are certain bylaws they agree to follow. Sometimes, this packet might state that the unit owner is responsible for any damage to a unit that is caused by the association. The bylaws usually state something along the lines of “unit owners need to have homeowner’s insurance.” In this case, the insurance carrier should help the unit owner cover some of the costs of the repairs.

If the condo docs are drafted in this manner, then the unit owner is responsible for the repairs even though the contractor caused the damage.

File An Insurance Claim

While this might not sound like a perfect solution, the unit owner might still not have to pay for the damages. This is why unit owners need to have home insurance. The next step should be to file a claim with the home insurance company. This claim might be able to cover the cost of the repairs that were caused by the contractors hired by the HOA.

HOA : The Role Of Homeowners Associations In Housing Communities

Homeowners Associations (HOA)Homeowners associations (HOA) are legal corporations formed by a real estate developer to market, to manage, and to sell homes and lots in a residential subdivision.

They’re most commonly formed for condominiums and planned urban developments (PUDs), a category which includes suburban communities. 

HOA Articles of Incorporation typically grant developers privileged voting rights in governing the association during its infancy, while providing the means for the developer to exit financial and legal responsibility for the organization, transferring ownership to the homeowners of the association.

This transfer typically occurs after a predetermined number of units have been sold — often two-thirds of the available lots and/or units.

Each homeowners association enforces its own governing documents in the form of restrictive covenants, by-laws, architectural guidelines and regulations. Together, the “rules” of an HOA are meant to define the community standards for the purpose of protecting property values.

Restrictive covenants vary widely from homeowners association to homeowners association. Covenants may include guidelines on issues as varied as where parking is permissible; planned architectural improvements; and, landscaping.

HOAs often enforce these common restrictive covenants, among others :

  • •Boats, utility trailers, RVs, and commercial vehicles may not be parked in driveways and streets
  • Homes may not be painted in “loud” colors
  • Yard signage may not be political in nature, nor defamatory
  • Lawn care must be performed routinely to prevent overgrowth
  • For condos with balconies, towels and clothing may not be draped on railing

For homes governed by an HOA, membership in the homeowners association is a condition of purchase; buyer are not permitted to opt-out.

Homeowners associations make their by-laws available upon request to existing, governed homeowners and will often make by-laws available to prospective home buyers as well. Review community guidelines before buying into a building or neighborhood, and before beginning a home improvement project. It’s important to know what actions are permissible and what actions are not.

In addition, most mortgage lenders require HOA by-laws as part of the mortgage approval process.