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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  JA Mentor, multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation & admin
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I live in a subdivision that has no common interest other than

Customer Question

I live in a subdivision that has no common interest other than our roads/easement. It is a "Standard" subdivision so we don't have "board" members just a committee of which I am a member, one of three, the forth member bowed out tonight.
The issue: We hired a landscape contractor who also happens to be a homeowner. Last year he did a stellar job and no one complained. This year, can't say the same. Because he's a neighbor, we also made the mistake of not asking him to provide proof of insurance. I had a gut feeling that the young man he had performing the actual work was not on his payroll, consequently not covered by Workman's Comp. I didn't want to make a big deal of it so as a committee member, I asked if he'd have his insurance company pdf us a copy of his insurance and the names of his employees that are covered under it. It's been 10 days with no reply other than he emailed me another contract (we sent him that we had drawn up including verbiage to the effect that he would hire only legal citizens and that he would maintain Worker's Comp and General Liability insurance). He deliberately left that section out of his contract. That omission pretty much confirms what I was feeling.
Our CC&Rs explicitly state: TO HAVE ONLY LICENSED CONTRACTORS EVIDENCING ADEQUATE INSURANCE PERFORM WORK WITHIN THE DESIGNATED RIGHTS OF WAY, WHETHER SUCH WORK IS PERFORMED AT THE DIRECTION OF AN INDIVIDUAL PARCEL OWNER OR THE NAUTICAL HEIGHTS MAINTENANCE ASSOCIATION.
I recommend to the other committee members that we tell him to cease any further work until he provides us with proof of insurance. Now I find that I am in the minority because the other committee members have homes for sale and they want to make sure that the landscaping looks good, apparently at any cost. I on the other hand do not want to risk everything I own because this contractor won’t provide us with proof of insurance. I feel like we’re sitting ducks.
My question is this: Is there any way that I can legally protect myself from liability if something should happen since I have been out voted? I know in my heart that I am right about this, and short of moving, which I don’t want to do, I don’t know how to protect my assets because of the foolish decision these other committee members are making.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
I do not blame your concerns. And yes, I suspect you are right--when a portion of the contract is left deliberately blank, and then ignored, the person essentially answers for you. Ultimately all you need to do is go on record, either as a point of order, or any other statement where you clearly state that you are in opposition of the vote. That covers you personally as that then shows that you are acting in the best interest of the entity and are not in violation of your fiduciary duty. But beyond that, you really cannot protect yourself from the foolishness of others--at least that type of formal record won't get you personally sued by other members if indeed something occurs.
Sincerely,
Dimitry, Esq.

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