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Can an HOA force a condo owner to appliances (water heater) within their unit?

Seattle, WA |

Our HOA is requiring that all of us condo owners replace our water heaters if they are over 10 years old. I have insurance that will cover any damage caused by my water heater, but they are holding their ground. I don't have an argument with changing the tank after 10 years, I just don't like it being mandated that I make changes on my property.

If they can mandate this, can they also force to replace water supply hoses to our dishwasher, toilets, and washing machine?


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Attorney answers 2


The answer to this question lies in the governing documents for your association, so no one can answer your question without reviewing those. That being said, it is not unusual for a condo association to have that authority. As a practical matter, I certainly understand you not liking being told what to do inside your own home. On the other hand, the association has the duty to maintain the association and building as a whole, and if your water heater or another appliance malfunctions, it can damage common elements and other units. Also, even when an owner has insurance (as you do), typically the association's insurance is considered primary, so a loss even like a water heater malfunctioning and creating a large amount of water damage would end up being a claim on the association's insurance even though you do have your own insurance. So there are a lot of competing practical considerations to consider.

Bottom line, though, to YOUR question, is that the answer probably lies in your association's governing documents.

Avvo answers are intended to provide general information only; not legal advice.


Possibly. You'll need to check your HOA agreement to be sure.

This answer is given without full knowledge of the specific facts of the matter, and is not intended to constitute legal advice. It is recommended that an attorney who specializes in law similar to this matter is consulted with. It is recommended that advice is sought in a prompt matter, to avoid any issues with any applicable statute of limitations. No attorney-client privilege is created by the answering of this question.

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