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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3065
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I OWN A TOWNHOME, AND LAST MAY, 2013, SEWER BACKED UP IN THE

Customer Question

I OWN A TOWNHOME, AND LAST MAY, 2013, SEWER BACKED UP IN THE UNIT TO THE RIGHT OF ME, AND IN MINE, DOING OVER $7,000 WORTH OF DAMAGE...THE ASSOCIATION CLAIMS IT IS MY PROBLEM, SINCE IN A TOWNHOME, THE ASSOCIATION IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING WITHIN THE WHOLE BUILDING...THE QUESTION IS, "IF THE SEWER WAS BACKING UP IN THE UNIT NEXT DOOR TO MINE, WHICH IS ON THE SIDE WHERE THE SEWER EXITS TO THE SEWER GRINDER PUMP, ISN'T THAT FROM THE COMMON LINE, AND NOT FROM MY LINE, THEREFORE THE HOA PAYS DAMAGE, AND HAS TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM, WHICH HAS BEEN ONGOING SINCE 1988?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 11 months ago.

William B. Esq. :

Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. My name is Bill and I would like to assist you today.

William B. Esq. :

The HOA is wrong. It is responsible for the "common elements" to the buildings regardless as to whether they are townhomes condominiums or single family homes.

William B. Esq. :

The sewer structure as you describe it is almost always a common element (a shared sewer line with sewer grinder - or other systems).

William B. Esq. :

There is a relatively easy way to determine what portions of your structure are controlled by (and the responsibility of) the Association (common property or limited common property), and which are the responsibility of the individual homeowners (separate property). Your Association's CC&Rs or governing documents will have a detailed description of these two types of properties, and so long as the sewer systems are included (usually it would be anything extending beyond the walls (almost always the interior wall, leaving the Association responsible for painting, stucco, etc. on the exterior, but sometimes the homeonwer is responsible to the exterior wall), the HOA must repair the sewer line - and is also responsible for the damage to both units.

William B. Esq. :

I hope the above is helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will follow up quickly.

Thank you for using our service, please do not forget to rate my answer when you are satisfied. I am going to transfer our conversation to the "Q&A" format to ensure you can review the entire response (some customers have browser interface issues and I want to avoid any delay) and that I can follow up to any questions you may have quickly. I do wish you the best of luck in this matter.

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
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