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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 114753
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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My HOA landscapers broke a common area sprinkler and irrigation

Customer Question

My HOA landscapers broke a common area sprinkler and irrigation pipe on the common area while trimming palm trees on the common ground. I discovered it almost six weeks later when i and a witness discovered a mold infested flood in my guest house. My HOA president witnessed the flood damage and wrote a letter to the Management Co. that it was indeed their fault. They sent a Flood clean-up company to dry it up and gut out my guest house, including expensive carpeting. The management company asked me to file a claim, said they would pay my $1000 deductible. I could not do that as just prior to that an A/C coil leak had water damaged my ceilings extending into 3 rooms which also required a claim. They said they would repair the damages and proceeded to send their own vendors to bid for repair. But they defamed me and slandered me to their vendors which the vendors confided in me. They sent the vendors to my house to yell at me to "FILE A CLAIM!!" but in turn say 'BUT IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT!". The vendors confided in me that they were going to use me as an example the other homeowners NOT TO COMPLAIN! Their vendors said they want me to take it to court so that the judge can say that it wasn't any one company's fault, not the HOA, The management Company, or the landscape company. Three months later, they sent me a settlement check for $1,500.00 to cover a $15,000 repair job. I have witnesses and photos of the stepped on and broken sprinkler and pipe, The Flood company said the damage occurred within a five week period which put the incident almost exactly to the day the palm trees were trimmed. (5 wks and 3 days). The broken sprinkler and pipe butted within less than 6" of the guest house and common wall. Water ran under the wall onto my guest suite. In addition, the HOA had 7 sprinklers blasting at my ho common walls facing my property (instead of the street and sewer) to water 4 small plants. Each plant had a bubbler at it's base. The other three unnecessary sprinklers (One was the broken sprinkler that damaged my guest house) were creating ongoing damage to my shared block wall with my neighbor on the right, as well as my guest house on the left. They tried to deny responsibility, saying it was a grading issue, done by the builder 16 yrs ago, that they were not responsible for it, for me to fix the damage and grading myself, at my own expense. I reminded them that the HOA signed off on all landscaping and grading prior to closing after verifying with the builder. Also, the broken sprinkler was found in sunken hole in the ground where the landscapers had kicked away the grading and river rock, disturbing the grade, so that the property no longer slopped toward the street and sewer, but rather sat in a sunken area in the ground where the water had nowhere to escape but under the common wall along the weep screed and outside walls of my guest house.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.
This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard
Please tell me what it is you want to do at this point?
What information can I provide you in that regard?
What is the question?
Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are is my recourse to obtain the $15,000 cost to repair my guest house from the HOA? There are only a few HOA attorneys in my area, and the good ones are working for and with my HOA. Can you provide a good HOA Dispute attorney in my area?The HOA uses; Guralnick & Gilliland, LLP, Palm Desert so they are not an option.Do I have a valid case?
What are my options:
. Arbitration with the HOA from a third party?
. Small claims court (which I could only recover $10,000 maximum)?
If I use small claims, can I sue for damages to the guest house as one claim for $10,000.00, Then sue again for damages for the shared block wall as another small claims issue?.Are there any government agencies which could help me resolve this issue, like consumer protection agency, BBB, Contractors License Board, Bond Companies etc. If so, could I go after the landscape company through these organizations?I am asking you for options.Can you find me a good attorney to work with me on this issue.I understand that an attorney has to be very well experienced in HOA laws to fight the HOA's.I'm looking for the various options and best course of action to win this case without it costing me a year's salary.
Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.
HelloThank you. I suggest you will need to sue the HOA. And that to find a lawyer in your area, of good standing and who is versed in HOA law you should use the CA Bar Association for a Legal Referral. I suggest you be very specific that you need a homeowner's attorney who is versed in insurance liability of the HOA. What area are you in so the contact information I provide you is near you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have already contacted the CA Bar association for a legal referral. They could not help me find an attorney that specializes in HOA issues. They will not provide good standing advice. That is why I turned to you. Apparently, you cannot help me either. I thought you could provide me with a lawyer that is in good standing that is versed in insurance liability of the HOA. in my area, or alternative actions/options to take. Apparently not. I get the same general advice from everyone. basically, "Find a Lawyer", "You're on your own". It's a tough area to fight, and most attorney's don't know how to do it. Since you could not help me, or answer my questions, I will pay the $5.00 fee, but would like not to be charged the additional $31.00 if you would be so kind. It's a frustrating and complicated issue, not everyone could address. It's very frustrating for the homeowner to fight. Thank you and have a good day.
Expert:  Samuel-II replied 1 year ago.
I see that I cannot assist you. I will opt out and maybe another can. Thank you. There is no need to rate my responses. And your deposit will stay in tact. Best of luck with this matter.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry that you may have misunderstood our service and the scope of service we can provide. State law forbids us from representing anyone and if you need representation you can use the same sites used by other attorneys, or to find a real estate law attorney who handles HOA cases and if you are in a small town you need to look to the nearest larger city to you.
I do apologize for any misunderstanding you may have had about the service we can legally provide.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I would appreciate you not charging me for this service. I thought it provided legal advice.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You may contact customer service at to get a refund of any deposit, as the experts are not employees of this site and have no control over any payment arrangements between customer and this site.