A client came to us after a fire sprinkler inside her condo caused significant water damage to her neighbors’ condos and her home. Her HOA attempted to levy a special assessment against her to recover repair costs not covered by the HOA’s insurance. The HOA also did not repair portions of her unit which were covered under the HOA’s insurance policy. Instead, the HOA pressured her to pay out-of-pocket expenses to the HOA’s contractor whose rates were significantly higher than other estimates. The HOA ignored her repeated requests for more information as she attempted to resolve the matter. Meanwhile, she lived in her water-damaged condo as the dispute continued for several months.
This stressful situation took an emotional and financial toll on our client. She was bombarded with demands from the HOA and the threat of significant out-of-pocket expenses. She also faced the possibility of liens and a forced sale of her condo if the HOA levied the special assessment against her.
“HOA By-Laws and CC&Rs are complex and many condo owners do not understand their rights and obligations when purchasing a condo,” litigator Derek Myers said. “Owners often feel powerless against their HOA during disputes.”
By asking the right questions and understanding the legal obligations of an HOA, Chauvel & Glatt was able to uncover information which showed our client was not at fault for the water damage. We aggressively advocated on behalf of our client to prevent a special assessment and show the HOA’s insurance policy required the company to repair the damaged units. As a result, the parties were able to work together to resolve the dispute. Our client’s fellow HOA owners elected her as a HOA Board member and she plans to advocate for owners’ rights in the future.