Owner Claims Against HOA - Water Intrusion
The most common claim made by the owners of condominium units against their homeowner associations is that their unit is experiencing water intrusion because the association has failed to maintain the common area. Generally, this involves leaking roofs, decks, planters, walls, and windows, and often improper slopes and drainage.
When a condominium unit owner has exhausted his or her patience with the board and files a lawsuit against the association, the association will almost always contact its insurance company. Assuming there is coverage, the insurance company will hire a law firm to represent the association and the law firm will hire appropriate experts needed to investigate the situation and provide advice on how to remedy the problem.
As part of the process, the plaintiff’s attorney will hire one or more experts to provide advice and repair cost estimates.
After all experts have completed their investigations, have developed a scope of repairs, and cost estimates, a mediation session will be arranged so that the parties can avoid further litigation and settle the matter short of going to court. In 95% of these matters, the dispute is settled in mediation.
Settlements usually, but not always, consist of the following:
- The association agrees to repair the common area;
- The association agrees to pay the plaintiff a dollar amount sufficient to make interior repairs and pay for loss of use; and
- The association or its insurance company, agrees to pay all of the plaintiff’s reasonable attorney fees and costs.
If you are a member of an association board, don’t let this happen to your association. An experienced and competent management company can save your association thousands of dollars.