What is an HOA’s responsibiltiy for repairs caused be a slab leak?

We had a water leak in our home caused by a slab leak. Our association covered the expense of repairing the leak and covering the walls. It happened in the master bedroom bathroom; they took off the cabinet a vanity and discarded them. They are saying that I’m responsible for replacing the cabinet, vanity and the flooring. Is this proper or legal?

Asked on October 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no general answer to this: it depends entirely on the following things:

1) Under your HOA agreement, who is resonsible for what costs? It is legal for the HOA to be responsible under the agreement(s); it's also legal for them to not be responsible. It depends on the terms of the agreement.

2) Notwithstanding the above, if the HOA (or contractors or employees hired by it) somehow caused the leak, then regardless of who would normally be responsible for these costs, the HOA should be reponsible for any costs it causes you to incur--though you may need to sue them to get the money, if they won't pay voluntarily.

You should probably consult with an attorney, who can evalute the situation and the relevant documents or agreements with you. Also, don't forget insurance--you may have a claim under your homeowner's insurance.

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