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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Can we sue for damages if HOA management delays amendment of

Customer Question

Can we sue for damages if HOA management delays amendment of incorrect demand to the point the point buyer backs out? We have a ledger from management showing we are paid thru May. Escrow is supposed to prorate June. Their demand says we owe 3k+ more. If buyer backs out, we lose our future home as well. Please call or email escrow due to close Monday.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Sorry for the delay. The answer to your question is unequivocally "yes." Civil Code 1368(a)(4) requires that the association provide a true statement of all fees owed by the current owner within 10 days of the date of written request. Failure to do so subjects the association to liability for actual damages, plus attorney's fees and costs of suit, and an additional $500 civil penalty. Civil Code 1368(d).

Hope this helps.

socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33559
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 6 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

1368(d) states "any person or entity who willfully violates this section is liable to the purchaser".


 


What about damages to me, the seller. If the buyer walks. What If the house I was going to buy goes up in value 50k over the next year or two?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
The law was intended to protect a buyer from a misrepresentation of the fees owed to the association prior to closing, so that recovery could be obtained after closing. Although there is no case law interpreting the issue, I believe that the law must protect the seller as well as the buyer, or violate equal protection.

However, rather than going through a convoluted legal action, you could ask the buyer to sign an agreement which states to the effect: "In the event of that the purchase contract between buyer and seller for the property located at [address] fails to close, due to a violation of Cal. Civil Code 1368 by the [name of HOA], buyer hereby assigns to seller, buyer's chose in action, under Civil Code 1368(d), to seller, in consideration for seller's payment to buyer in the amount of [amount -- could be $1.00]."

A "chose in action" is the right to sue belonging to another. See Civil Code 954. Once you have this agreement, you could sue the association as if you were the buyer.

Hope this helps.

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