Reader Questions - Who is Supposed to Care for it?Apr 04, 2022
By Kelly G. Richardson, Esq. CCAL
Kelly, I’m in a dispute with my association. The doors facing the outside of my condo (original doors) have extensive dry-rot. I say this is the responsibility of the association to fix and or maintain. I acknowledge that the inside of the doors are my responsibility but the outside is theirs. I’ve read the association’s matrix regarding the responsibility issue and believe it spells out whose responsibility it is. l stated it is association responsibility, but I’m getting denied my request for repairs. R.M., Coto de Caza
Dear R.M.: Civil Code Section 4775 allocates HOA maintenance and repair responsibility, stating that, unless the governing documents say otherwise, the HOA repairs common area and exclusive use common area, and homeowners maintain their exclusive use common area items. If the governing documents do not mention entry doors, then the Civil Code Section 4145(b) definition of “exclusive use common area” includes “exterior doors, doorframes, and hardware incident thereto.” So, if the governing documents are silent, the HOA would be expected to repair damaged entry doors (assuming that the damage was not caused by the homeowner).
Maintenance matrices are an increasingly popular tool to provide guidance on responsibility for maintenance and repair of listed items. These are essentially attorney opinions in chart form and the governing documents and statutes still take precedence if here is a conflict. Occasionally, I find errors in a matrix prepared by someone else but corrections don’t require a board or membership vote – it is sufficient to just send a corrected version to the membership. Thanks, Kelly
Good morning Kelly. I have been in touch with our manager several times about the cleanliness of the pools here. Nothing is happening. Multiple residents are very upset and claim they have been having this problem here for a very long time. Do you know who I can go to from here? Who do I speak to if the property management isn’t listening? A.F., Fountain Valley
Dear A.F.: Normally your manager follows the board’s directions. If there is a problem with the association’s pool cleaning vendor, bring it to the board’s attention during open forum. If sufficient homeowners agree with you and the board does not seem to be listening, consider collecting a petition to demonstrate that you are not the only person with this concern. Hopefully that will help the board see that there is a problem vendor. Never try to intervene with the vendor personally, but instead allow the board to instruct the manager to handle the issue. Best regards, Kelly
Dear Mr. Richardson: Our HOA is considering no longer paying to cover slab leaks. Most of our units have already incurred a slab leak but mine has not. I have faithfully paid my monthly fees for many years to cover slab leaks and now find that I may no longer be covered. This does not seem fair and I am wondering what I can do. C. B., San Pedro
Dear C.B.: To reallocate repair responsibilities would require an amendment to the CC&Rs; since any deviation from the Civil Code 4775 repair and maintenance allocations must be stated in the CC&Rs. Amending the CC&Rs on this subject would require a membership vote, which would give you an opportunity to oppose it. Thanks, Kelly
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