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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 35835
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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Recently, we had a plumbing issue that caused water damage

Customer Question

Recently, we had a plumbing issue that caused water damage to our condo. The issue came from a pipe that is within a wall which was covered by the association. They are covering the repair of the pipe, however they claim that the damage caused by the water
is my responsibility and I need to go through my insurance. Since the damage was caused by an issue that the association is responsible for I believe that they should be liable for the damages as well. Are there any small claims cases or other litigation that
have ruled in favor of the home owners in these situations?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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""however they claim that the damage caused by the water is my responsibility""
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This is a ridiculous claim on their part because it is kind of like if their car ran into yours and then they said, we will fix our car, but you have to fix your own.. This makes no logical or legal sense and is simply not true.
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If a common element like a pipe in the wall that the HOA is responsible for bursts and causes damage to your property, then they are liable for the cost of any repairs...simple as that. The only possible way I see this otherwise is if there is something specifically stated in your Bylaws that says "If pipe in wall bursts and damages owner's property, they agree to be liable for repairs".
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Without this specific type of disclaimer, then they are liable and you don't need to go into small claims court citing caselaw and precedents and historical cases.... the judge knows the law and will instantly realize that they are responsible absent a specific waiver.
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So I would suggest you carefully review your Bylaws to see if there is some "out" for them and if not, get your estimates for the repairs, and then file suit in small claims court immediately if they won't agree to pay for the repairs.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the quick reply. Do you have any small claims cases examples in which the homeowner had to sue their association for the same or similar situation and won?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately I don't have anything like that on hand. They are out there, and it is pretty much an established policy that if a common element damages a private element the HOA is responsible. But the kind of extensive legal research to locate the cases, review them, filter them and then provide them could take hours of time and are beyond the scope of the services I can provide.
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But having been a real estate attorney for over 15 years and a landlord for over 26, and having been in court more times than I can remember on property issues, I can tell you that going into court waving around caselaw won't impress the judge and will more likely irritate him because then he has to take the time to read it or have his law clerk read it and summarize things that he already knows to be the case under general common law.
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People only pound on the podium and cite caselaw and talk about how outrageous things are on TV. In real life all you have to do is get your estimates, file the suit, go in and tell your story about how their pipe damaged your property and you are done and get your judgment unless they have some specific disclaimer I mentioned earlier.
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The case examples are not for court, but to bring to the association as I need to appeal their decision during their monthly meeting. As you can also see getting a case example was part of the original question. If this cannot be done then my question is not answered.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I understand your need for the caselaw now. Unfortunately, extensive legal research is beyond the scope of the services I can provide.
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I will opt out in favor of another expert who may be able to assist..
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Your account hasn't been charged and no need to reply as it will prevent other experts from helping.
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thanks
Barrister

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