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My HOA states they are not liable for damage "inside" our Condo but the damage is a result of occurences in the "common" area?

Costa Mesa, CA |

Please help! The cement foundation of my patio literally cracked in half seemingly overnight. Come to find out , it was caused by an overgrown tree located outside of my Patio (in the common area ) who's root had grown under the fence , under my foundation resulting in the damage. it was a battle to even get them to remove the tree / root from the area inside my patio. When I asked them to fix the foundation, they refused stating it was "inside" of my property and therefore my responsibility? Now, our Complex(condominiums) are infested with termites and our HOA is refusing to pay for the fumigation , again with the excuse the termites are "inside" our homes / owner responsibility. The termites came from OUTSIDE , they are in our shared walls isn't this their responsibility?

Attorney Answers 2


you need to hire an attorney specialized in construction type cases. The HOA has liability for damages caused by common area issues. However, you will need to establish that it is the common area which caused your problem. Good luck.

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Thanks but I'm unsure if that's your answer to both issues? we need an attorney for the termite issue? I was under the impression HOAs were liable for the structure (walls/roof/framework) and "wood dwelling" pests?


Your situation is much more complicated than can be responded to within this forum.

Generally speaking, such cases require expert witnesses to ascertain causation. Sometime it is due to construction defects, sometimes due to failure to maintain. Are other owners' patios cracking?

As for the termite fumigation, it should be the HOA's responsibilty. Since the HOA is responsible for maintaining the common areas, the HOA is responsible for treating the termites (and repairing the structure if it needs repairing.)

See Civil Code §1364.

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

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No, the tree was adjacent to my patio only. My main concern right now is the termites, the cost is almost 2000 per condo. Thank you for clarifying that issue. Would you happen to know where I can look up the actual legal information regarding California HOA responsibility to termites?

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