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My HOA is trying to charge me for a Geotechnical Engineer…

Customer Question
My HOA is trying...

My HOA is trying to charge me for a Geotechnical Engineer inspection that they authorized due to cracks in walls that I reported in my home. Upon reporting them, they first sent out a contractor who merely glanced up at the main crack and did not walk up the staircase to evaluate anything more due to a bad back. I explained why I felt that my home should be evaluated by a structural/ foundation specialist since my reasearch online indicated that this should be done. Following this, I got an email from my HOS saying that the board agreed to an inspection and the Geotechnical company came out to my home. The engineer noted one significant separation in a wall which adjoins with my neighbors condo. He asked me if I knew if they too had any cracks as the units were connected. I said I would find out. Upon talking to my neighbor on the following day, they said that they too had cracks. I passed this info along to my HOA and to the Geotecnical company. The engineer at the Geo company said that my HOA had authorized the inspection of my home and would need authorization to evaluate my neighbors home. After passing along the info aboutmy neighbors cracks, his home was also evaluated.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?

No. My last message was sent incomplete. Now my association has sent me invoices made out to them for the Geo evaluation of my home for $1800 and also for my neighbors home for $1800 telling me I am responsible for the full $3600 since the Geo evaluation doesn’t indicate that the HOA isn’t the cause of the cracks in my home. Since I requested a more thorough evaluation they say I am now responsible for ALL fees incured

Lawyer's Assistant: Where is the home located?

In Woodbridge in Irvine. It’s in the development called Lakeside.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Yes correction that the HOA says the cracks in the home aren’t caused by anything they are liable for they aren’t covering the evaluation. However, before the inspection was done they said it was approved and they contacted the Geotechnicsl Engineer and suthorized him to come out to my home. I hadn’t even heard of a Geotecnical Engineer. In addition, he asked me about my neighbors adjoining unit and I simply followed through with the info. The Geo report about my home indicates that their has been some foundational shifting which has affected my home. Under recommended actions, he also suggests that I put in a root barrier or remove a tree in the back yard.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 26 minutes by:
3/21/2018
Real Estate Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 123,317
Experience: Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
Verified

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 this is caused by foundation shift and the bylaws/covenants make the HOA liable for foundation or ground under the unit, then the HOA cannot make you pay for this an the HOA needs to pay for repairs as well. At this point, if the HOA is claiming that they are not liable, but the report says it is a foundation issue then that is typically an HOA issue and whether the report specifically says it is an HOA or not does not matter what matters is the cause of the cracking and it is from foundation issues, then the HOA will have to cover and you would need to sue them for damages if they refuse to pay.

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