How to get refusing hoa to fix damage

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How to get refusing hoa to fix damage

I live take care of my 91 year old grandma. We live in FL and after the hurricane 2 years ago the president of the HOA said to me that they didn’t repair her roof or replace damaged insulation caused by hurricane water damage. When I moved in a year ago I found out the roof was leaking,when I asked the president and the property manager they both agreed it was a common area and that the leaking roof caused the damage. I also paid for a mold test and it came back positive for mold, I also told them about it and now they are saying they aren’t fixing anything and that I should get a lawyer. I opened a claim under my grandma’s insurance but they will only cover the mold damage. How can I force the HOA to take care of its own problem?

Asked on August 6, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If, as is common, the HOA is responsible for the repair of common areas (like roofs), you can force them to fix it--but only by a lawsuit, in which you will sue them for violating the terms of the documents/agreements governing the property and also for negligence (carelessless). You can also sue them for any costs or losses  (e.g. repair costs) you can prove you incurred due to their failure to honor their obligations, but will need a contractor or contractors to testify in court (and you will have to pay them for their time) to testfy as to how, in their expert opinion, the damaged was caused by the ongoing roof leak (they are not responsible for the initial hurrican water damage, which was outside their control; they are only liable for damage resulting from their failure to do required maintenance). You will also have to show that they had notice or warning of the leak and so were aware they had to fix it, but failed to do so. 
You will have to hire a lawyer to do this--to find one you can afford--if the condo is in her  name only (i.e. you are not on the title), because a nonlawyer cannot bring a lawsuit for  another nonlawyer; only an attorney can. Without a lawyer, your 91-year-old grandmother would have to file and present her own lawsuit.


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