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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I have conflicts with my HOA regarding who is responsible to

Customer Question

Customer: I have conflicts with my HOA regarding who is responsible to our damaged wood floor. We purchased a second floor condo in end of March in Livonia MI with newly installed oak wood floor. Right after the big storm in May, we had leading issues in the building. In June, the hardwood floor started to show curve on the edges and soon in July started to buck up. In ***** *****, there two areas in the living room hallway the floor was bucked 3, 4 inches high. First we thought it was the wood which wasn't weathered properly and expends. so we decide to take off and replace it. But when we opened the floor, we found mold underneath. So we contacted the HOA about the issue also at the same time we consults professionals. Its then clear that if the wood floor damage was caused by the wood expansion its self, there should be mold found underneath.......The HOA hired a coupole of inspectors coming to LOOK AT, one of them said it's our toilet. He's conclusion in the report (but not absolute) says based on moisture level on the bathroom floor.... I then hired licensed plumber tested out our plumbing, there is not fault found. But the HOA insists that our toilet is the leaking source and refuse to do further testing....totally ignore our prove of no leaking in our unit, no plumbing system problem. After I asked them for solution, they finally issue letters to us order us to fix the problem as soon as with 15 days, now second letter within 10 days (by law) to get the repair done. They ignoring my reply emails stays all the reason all over again which proving why the water wan't from our toilet, and their report said the conclusion was based on what's being asked to test by HOA which were not relevant test......I need your advise of what should I do at this point or if you can help me to fight with this. Thank you very much. My email is***@******.***. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I have brought condo insurance HOA knew that so they asked me to claim my insurance fro start. I told them I think it's not our fault of water source. Never had water on the floor...I have all emails. the last email the KC property service still asking the inspector about where the water came from... So at this point, not until the floor and concrete underneath is removed, can't see where the water was from. (or never be able to know where the water was coming from) because it seems like it was one time thing. It's trying up with times because the moisture level went down as my insurance people tested last. If that was one time thing, it proves the person gave them the report was wrong because he states, it's our toilet and is on going leaking! why? because when he came, it's already two month after the wood is damaged.
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Customer: I can wait till tonight? I need to leave now. You have my email address. Let me know. Thanks for your time
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of this situation.

Unfortunately, what you have identified here is going to come down to a dispute between experts: your expert would argue that the water damage (mold, etc.) is due to water coming from some source other than the toilet (you don't identify what your expert believes to be the source - but it has to be some source that is under the HOA's responsibility - a common element, such as an exterior envelope surface (roof, exterior walls, windows, or common supply pipes, etc.); the HOA's expert is going to argue that this is due to a leak from your toilet (a separate interest issue, and therefore your liability - not the HOA's).

I would recommend tendering a claim to your own insurance - if you do not, you are going to have to carry the costs of litigating this dispute against your HOA on your own (out of pocket), AND, if you find out that you are responsible later on (the HOA wins the dispute), your insurance may later deny your claim because you failed to tender the claim in a timely manner (almost all insurance policies require that the insured provide a timely notice of potential claims).

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