What to do if my HOA is trying to make me repair unauthorized modifications to the exterior wall of my condo thatI did not make?

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What to do if my HOA is trying to make me repair unauthorized modifications to the exterior wall of my condo thatI did not make?

I received a letter from my HOA claiming that there have been unauthorized modifications to the exterior of my condo. I have lived here for almost 4 years and have not made any changes. The changes they are claiming I made are removing some bricks from the compartment where the A/C unit sits. They are saying that I need to pay for this. Am I liable?

Asked on March 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may be liable. Typically, homeowners are responsible for keeping their homes in compliance with HOA, community, and/or municipal rules, and even if the change was done by a prior homeowner, the current one may have to pay for it. For example, say a homeowner adds a bathroom to a home without getting permitting approval or having it inspected; a later homeowner, if the town finds out about it, would be responsible for the cost of any permits, inspections, changes to bring it into compliance, etc. In a similar way, if a HOA has a rule that unauthorized changes cannot be made, the current owner could be responsible for setting things right even if he were not the one who made the change(s) in the first place.


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