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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: CA Real Estate
Satisfied Customers: 117359
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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HOA contruction defect on my condo. I am the original owner

Customer Question

HOA contruction defect on my condo. I am the original owner and purchased new, upon comletion of building the condo in 2007. I paid approximately 420k for the condo and am the sole owner/occupant. I am an educated 49 year old woman with a background from
UCSF and Stanford currently working as a Nurse Practitioner. I have no spouse, no children, and no living family members. The roof leak and extensive damage which started in 2011 has been ongoing and getting more severe with each rainfall. I have numerous
correspondence all documented and pictures of the extensive damages. The HOA has NEVER had any repairmen, nor have they ever addressed the issue, but did openly admit to others having problems. I received a letter out of the clear blue sky in the last two
weeks from a law firm stating they are representing the HOA in a class action lawsuit over a construction defect. They are demanding to come into my condo and start tearing out ceiling, floors, and walls to investigate the damages. My question is this: do
I or should I get my own attorney? The condos that are having problems are all different sizes and costs. I bought the largest condo in the complex and put in numerous upgrades before purchase. I also have had numerous hours in my employment at the hospitals
affected by the time lost on not being able to work due to the flooding and damages getting worse with each rainfall. I am pannicking at this stage, because the letter now states they are coming in on Aug 31- Sept 2 to start the demo and investigation. I need
an attorney, but should I and am I not allowed to file a separate lawsuit again the builder/developer/contractor/subcontractor related to the negligence in time, job loss, not just in hours, but the job itself and the extensive damage that has gone on for
over 4 years with out one repair or one inspection? Please help and please advice. Thank you!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: CA Real Estate
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If the HOA is suing over the construction defect to a common or limited common element, then you need to cooperate with the HOA suit and you also need to notify your insurer as well regarding this condition. It is the HOA duty to investigate and pursue any suits regarding defects on common or limited common elements.

As far as getting your own attorney, you can get your own attorney to protect your interests in any damages caused to your unit that are not covered by the HOA, such as damage inside of your apartment. However, the HOA will have to repair any walls or ceilings they must remove to get to the damage caused by their defect that they are liable for repairing, which would be the roof.

Hiring your own attorney though would cost you an hourly fee, which is likely $200 per hour, which is why it is in the best interests of the unit owner to have the HOA represent them because it is the HOA fault and their liability.