WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE TO MY HOMEIFMYHOA HIRED A LANDSCAPER WHO CAUSED THE DAMAGE?

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WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGE TO MY HOMEIFMYHOA HIRED A LANDSCAPER WHO CAUSED THE DAMAGE?

MY HOA HIRED A NEW LANDSCAPER WHO SAYS THE DAMAGE TO MY HOME WAS CAUSED BY THE OLD LANDSCAPER. MY HOA SAYS THAT I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR SEEKING RECOMPENSE FOR THIS DAMAGE. MY HOA MANUAL SAYS “HOA DUTIES INCLUDE HANDLING HOMEOWNER COMPLAINTS AND INQUIRES AND MANAGING AGENTS HIRED BY THE BOARD TO PERFORM LANDSCAPING SERVICES AND OTHER COMMON AREA REPAIR OR MAINTENANCE.”

Asked on June 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally, if the HOA is responsible for landscaping, etc. and also was the entity which hired the landscapper, then usually it would be the HOA which is resonsible for the damage. However:

1) Being responsible still doesn't mean they will pay voluntarily--it merely means that if they don't pay and you sue them, normally one would expect the homeowner to win. And if you're going to sue the HOA, you should sue the landscapper, too.

2) Risk can be reapportoined by agreement, so if the HOA agreement(s) say that the homeowner bears the risk or cost, that term is enforceable.

You should consult with an attorney about the best way to seek compensation, and from whom. Bring with you all the documents relating to the HOA (e.g. HOA agreements, handbooks or  manuals, etc.)


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