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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36164
Experience:  16 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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My HOA has decided to change our 9 building entry locks one

Customer Question

My HOA has decided to change our 9 building entry locks one at a time on an as-needed basis because our HOA president has a personal vendetta with the old lock company. The HOA president and the lock company (San Mateo Locks) have both told me the same story. So far only one of our nine doors has the new lock.
In Dec. we had a flood due to a broken fire sprinkler. I gave ARC (the water restoration company hired by the HOA) my key to my unit and the key to the old locks on the building so they could come in and dry out my condo while it was uninhabitable. ARC returned the keys by mail, but when I got them the envelope was torn open and the keys were not there.
I contacted the HOA management company (Neighborhood AM) for a new key to the old locks and was informed I couldn't have one because the president of our HOA won't let anyone do business with San Mateo Locks. I pay $450.00 per month and can't have a key to my own building????
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Do your Bylaws give the President of the HOA the authority to conduct any business relationships with suppliers like this?

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Are the locks on the buildings owned by the HOA itself as a common element?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The president does do business with the vendors that do maintenance here. How can I find out if the HOA owns the locks?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Does the HOA pay for the locks on the buildings?

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Does the HOA maintain the exterior of the buildings?

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If so, then they are common elements and the HOA is liable for their maintenance, which would include making sure that residents have the ability to access them. Which would include providing duplicate keys upon request and payment for a copy..

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But if the President is being a jerk, you might just want to see if you can find someone else who has a key and borrow theirs to have a duplicate made by a locksmith as any locksmith can duplicate a key..

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thanks

Barrister

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

You could file a suit against the President for breach of contract for failing to provide you with access to the building due to him not supplying a duplicate key, but it would be much easier to just find someone with one and borrow theirs to make a copy..

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
they provide the keys for $25.00. They are a security key that can only be made by one lock company. That is the company that the president "jerk" refuses to let the HOA do business with. He will not allow them to get a key according to the HOA management company. We can't copy it. I spoke to San Mateo Locks. They can't give us a key due to security and laws.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Ok, then you are going to be forced to take legal action against the President for breach of contract for failing to act so as to provide you with access to the building..

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In a situation like this, a "demand letter" from a local attorney threatening to sue the President personally for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty if he doesn't take action to ensure that you are provided a duplicate at your expense.

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But I would also think that your Bylaws wouldn't give him unilateral authority to act on his own when determining who to do business with and that this would have to be a Board decision made after a meeting with the members. So that would further be a breach of contract on the President's part if he is acting without authority to interfere with the lock company.

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thanks

Barrister

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