Recent heavy rains have many homeowners asking whether their homeowners association (HOA) is responsible for water intrusion resulting in property damage. The answer depends on various factors such as your HOA’s governing documents, the source of water intrusion, and whether negligence may be to blame.
HOAs have governing documents such as covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that outline the contractual rights and obligations of the association and the individual homeowners. These documents are the best place to start to identify who is responsible for maintaining and repairing certain portions of your property.
Common Areas vs. Individual Units:
HOAs generally maintain the association's common areas that may include roofs, exterior walls, and foundations. If water intrusion occurs from a common area, the HOA may be legally responsible for the repairs.
Water damage originating within a unit (such as from pipes that service that unit exclusively) is often - but not always - the responsibility of the homeowner.
Maintenance and Repairs:
If the HOA is responsible for maintaining certain portions of the common area and neglects to perform regular maintenance that leads to water intrusion, they may be held liable for resultant interior damage.
Liability may depend on whether the HOA or individual homeowners were negligent in their duties. If they were aware of an issue and failed to address it, such as when a homeowner reports an issue and the HOA refuses to investigate the matter at all, the association could be held liable.
Given the complexity of such matters, it is advisable to seek legal advice from a professional familiar with local regulations and HOA governing documents for accurate guidance based on your specific circumstances. If you have specific questions about your situation, please reach out today.