Understanding the Plumbing Responsibilities of a Homeowners Association
One of the most consistent questions to come up regarding a homeowners association (HOA) is who is responsible for maintenance needs. This might come up after someone’s dishwasher floods a building, when mold is found in a building due to a leak, or a pipe gets a hole and causes flooding. Knowing whether the HOA is responsible for handling the situation or not is a common question, and the answer is a bit more complicated than you might think.
Research the Governing Documents for the HOA
Before doing anything else, you will want to look at the Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions (CC&R) for the HOA. The most important areas to spend time on include the following:
- Definitions – You’ll want to determine whether the area in question is a separate interest, exclusive use common area, or common area.
- Division of Property – This section will provide needed information about who owns and maintains specific areas of development.
- Owner Maintenance Responsibilities – Reading this section will provide clarification about any maintenance responsibilities an owner has.
- Powers and Duties of the Association – Find out precisely what HOA plumbing responsibilities are listed as required by the association.
Looking over these sections will answer many questions about responsibilities. If you find the answers are unclear, this is something that should be addressed when revising the documents.
Understanding the Difference Between Exclusive Use Common Areas and Common Areas
Your documents should give you some insight into what is a common area, exclusive use common area, and a separate interest. However, if that isn’t true, you can look at Civil Code Sections 4075 through 4190. When you boil it all down, if the CC&R doesn’t say something different, owners must maintain exclusive use areas.
Putting it All Together
It can be complicated and frustrating to determine who is responsible for what in a community association. The best way to avoid ending up in this situation is by making sure your document offers simple solutions, having clear policies related to who pays the insurance deductible, and use your best judgment. Just doing this few things will remove many of the questions about HOA plumbing responsibilities.
If you are in need of plumbing service, Apex Plumbing & Sewer, Inc. can provide just what you need. We offer sewer, plumbing, and drain cleaning services for those in the Chicago area. You can learn more about us and fill out a contact form at ApexPlumbingChicago.com.