What are my rights if I am the owner of a condo and had a commonpipe bust that caused damage to my unit 3 /12 months ago but to date it has still not been fixed?

I called the HOA and they sent someone out to stop the leak but the damage left a big hole in my ceiling and water damage ruined my floor. Here we are July 17th after calling and meeting with the HOA board they said they would fix the damage but instead of putting in my original wood flooring they are putting in carpet and I would have to pay the difference if I want the wood floors put back. Can they do this or should I seek legal help at this point ? I attached a picture so you can see yourself how bad this is and I think waiting 4 months I have been really patient

Asked on July 17, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You have been patient. The condo association cannot make you accept a lesser substitute (i.e. carpeting) in place of the material (wood) damaged by a common element for which they were responsible, unless there is something in the association agreement specifically giving them this right. (If there is, such a contractual term is enforceable.) When someone damages another's property, the law makes them responsible to pay the repair cost to restore the pre-damge condition, and does not let them dictate that lower-cost materials will be used. They also cannot make you wait indefinitely. Unfortunately, your recourse, to get the repairs done with materials comparable to what was damaged and also force them to actually make the repairs, would be to sue the association; suing, however, has its own costs, both monetary and in terms of time, stress, etc. A good first step would be to speak with a real estate attorney with experience in condos and ask him/her to evaluate the strength of your case, what it is worth, and it would cost to pursue it; you can then decided whether to take legal action or not.


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