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Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. My name is Bill and I would like to assist you today.
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.
The sewer structure as you describe it is almost always a common element (a shared sewer line with sewer grinder - or other systems).
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.
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.
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