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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I live in a condo (rhode island). My flue pipe connected to

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I live in a condo (rhode island). My flue pipe connected to my furnace is now leaking. Rain and Snow leaks down to my furnace and now top of my furnace has rust and also inside. It's working. My issue is the maintenance of the flue pipe on the roof doesn't seem to be maintained because it is very rusty. Association says this is my responsibility. How can be something that I cannot maintain be my responsibility it is on the roof. And according to my bylaw that flue pipe is common elements. I need the association to replaced the flue pipe.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney. Thanks for your question.

If the bylaws say that the flue is a common element, and you know the roof is also a common element, then you should have the right to demand that the HOA make the repair.

If they refuse, you certainly point to the bylaw and ask them to explain why it doesn't apply in your situation. If you can't resolve your issue through the HOA board, then you'd be left with having to sue in order to enforce your legal rights.

If you get to that point, you may want to consider hiring an attorney to assist you with pursuing relief and getting the HOA to abide by it's rules.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Sorry I have to find the condo book


This is what it says:





Section 3.1.2 Common elements and Facilities. The common areas, elements and facilities of the condominium shall consist of :


skip to e below:




Article 3.1.e. All conduits, chimneys, chutes, ducts, pipes, plumbing, wiring, flues and other
facilities for the furnishing of utility services which are contained in common areas
or in portions of the buildings contributing to the structure or support thereof, and
all the facilities contained within any Unit which serve parts of the building other
than the Unit within which such facilities are contained, together with an easement
of access thereto for maintenance repair, and replacement, as aforesaid.


Please explain what exactly what the whole paragraph meant?

It looks like the pertinent language is the portion that says "....all the facilities contained within any Unit which serve parts of the building other than the Unit within which such facilities are contained....."

This seems to exclude any element/facility (such as a flue) UNLESS it serves more than just one unit. So if your flue only runs from your unit out to the roof without providing any service to any other unit, then it would not be considered a common element.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So although I cannot maintained it because it's on the roof it is still my responsibility? How can something I cannot maintained be my responsiblity? They should at least tell me the situation up their if that is that case.

It may not be a very fair provision, but it's in there and you've already agreed to it (when the property was purchased). Thus, it's likely your responsibility to pay for the repairs needed to the flue.

The best thing you could do is ask the HOA to change the rule to require it to inspect the elements that are outside and report to you so you canals the repair.

You could also claim that the roof is causing the damage to your flue, which could result in the HOA covering the cost.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The only thing I can think of is, We are not allowed to go to the roof because of liability. Can I use that as reason? Or advise how how a roof cause damage to your flue? maybe Rain and snow get splatter to my pipe and causes it to corrode?

Yes, since you're prohibited from going onto the roof, that should be a good reason to compel the HOA to report any damage to the homeowner.

Also, there could be leaks around the flues that cause damage, but you'd never know it because you can't go up there. It's likely that this policy needs some tweaking.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They already claimed that the roof is not leaking, but I just hired a HVAC professional to give me a quote and see what is going on up there. They took picture and they said that their are holes on my flue pipe and it seem the HOA already been patching it up. So if HOA is patching up the holes then something doesnt make sense if they are telling me that is my responsibility. I never asked anybody to do anything up their in regards XXXXX XXXXX flue pipe or have someone patching it up so eventually the HOA is touching my flue then.

You're on the right track. If you can prove that the HOA roof has damages your flue, then that's the way to get the HOA to cover the cost.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. I will try that. Wish me luck.

No problem. Let me know if you need anything further.

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