How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Alex J. Esq. Your Own Question
Alex J. Esq.
Alex J. Esq., Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16721
Experience:  Experienced Licensed Attorney
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Alex J. Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

whats the best way to deal with my homeowners association

This answer was rated:

what's the best way to deal with my homeowner's association ridiculously written by-laws that seem designed to deliberately warp a lay person's mind, written like jibber-jabber from outer space that only superhuman aliens with knowledge of dark matter and black holes know how to interpret so I can stop them from slamming me with a $5000 plumbing issue which involves the pipes that connect into the guy downstairs?
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

I am sorry to hear about your difficult situation.

Are you liable for this plumbing issues according to the current HOA bylaws?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

that's what I'm trying to determine. The by-laws are so convoluted regarding "common elements" and they clump everything into the category of "utilities" and every now and then the word "pipe" actually appears. I can't make heads or tails of them. But we're on the second floor of a loft with 30-foot ceilings and the pipes go down a long way and make sharp turns and the guy downstairs experienced a plumbing problem at the same time we did. Do I need to hire an atty who specializes in these sorts of issues? How do I get the HOA's "plumbers" to prove to us definitively, like show us blueprints or architectural drawings of the way the pipes connect? They saw they don't have to do that. The we just have pay no matter what and the guy downstairs goes scot-free.

Dear Camille,

Thank you for your follow up.

If you do not agree with the HOA assessment of this situation and liability for this repair, the only way to deal with the HOA is for you to gather all the evidence that these pipes are part of the common element and to consult and retain local HOA law attorney who can file a lawsuit and would seek for the court to review this situation and who has the responsibility under the HOA bylaws to pay for the repair of the faulty pipes.

It is important to understand that most HOA bylaws would state that if a member files a lawsuit against HOA, the legal fees of the prevailing party would be paid by the losing party, so it is important to review the HOA bylaws to make sure that you are aware of all the potential benefits and risks before starting litigation.

I wish you the best of luck and please let me know if you have related follow up questions.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

We were only allowed to use the "plumbers" the HOA retained, which is in the bylaws. They made 5 visits and could not figure out how to resolve it. They said the only way to fix it would be to jack-hammer the guy's bathroom floor downstairs and get under the concrete, and estimated it would be another $3000. We strongly objected and demanded that the HOA send another plumber, which they did. This plumber solved the problem in 2 hours. We went 7 weeks without the use of our upstairs bathroom, which we use regularly and he wrote a statement that it was a shared building problem. However, this mattered nothing to the HOA. I don't want to sue and lose and then get drowned. Do you think hiring an HOA atty to review the bylaws would be worth the extra money? Is there not an atty available through the HOA to help us interpret the bylaws or through some Consumer Protection Agency?

Dear Camille,

Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, you would have to consult with your own private local HOA law attorney, as the attorney who represents HOA will only protect the legal interest of the HOA and would not be able to advise you related to the HOA bylaws, as it would be a conflict of interest for this HOA attorney.

Unfortunately, Consumer Protection Agency do not generally offer the type of legal services that you require in this situation.

I wish you the best of luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So is it unreasonable to ask the HOA to positively prove to us how these pipes are put together, blueprints, or whatever, or are they somehow exempt from answering questions like that? We just have to have to take their "plumbers" word that it is our problem alone? Alex, really, these guys were like guys who dropped out in the 7th grade and took the GED a few times and failed. Could we at least ask that they have their IQs tested?!!! (kidding). Or is there some agency I can lodge a complaint against the HOA?


Dear Camille,

Thank you for your follow up.

I do completely understand your frustration with this unfortunate situation and I know how trivial issues can turn into nightmares when it comes to dealing with Condo Associations and HOA's.

You can make a written demand to the HOA to provide you with the proof that the pipes in fact are connected to your unit and you are liable to pay for the repair under the HOA bylaws, however if the HOA refuses to provide you with such proof, you would need to consult and retain local HOA law attorney to address the situation.

If you feel that HOA is violating the bylaws or is engaging in some other illegal action, the you can file a formal complaint with Georgia Attorney General Office at the link below:

I wish you the best of luck and GOD bless you!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OK, thanks. We're in the process of getting our homeowner's insurance to evaluate the situation and perhaps get some relief from them. However, I know that they will not come up with the proof we're asking for. What we've decided to do for sure is put this place up for sale asap and move back into our bungalow that we rent at the moment, do some renovations and move back in there. After all, it's paid for!!! Never again will I pay criminals exorbitant fees, $425 a month, to ream us a new one. This same problem could happen again! Then there goes another 5000. Never again will I share pipes or common elements or any nonsense like that again! Really, Alex, they're like Nazis. They should just sew swastikas on their sleeves.


Thanks for listening. You did a good job. Best regards, Camille

Dear Camille,

Thank you and I wish you the best of luck!

Please click on the excellent service ratings, so I can receive credit for my answer. Bonus and positive feedback is always appreciated, but is not required.

Alex J. Esq. and other Legal Specialists are ready to help you