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Our condo building has 3 board members, Mary is President and John is treasurer and me. The other day the president sent an email saying "last night my toilet and bath tub were clogged. The plumber identified the problem as the building's main line rather than my unit. He also found a few other leaking pipes under and behind the building. According to the plumber every time unit #6 will use the shower the water in my tub will accumulate and I will not be able to use the toilet and shower until it is fixed. The estimate was $4,700".
When I went to talk to Mary who had already paid him, she said it had backed up the night before and she called a plumber who came that night. She said she felt pressured as the plumber had to go and buy the stuff and come back so she had to make a decision. She said it the plumber had assured her it would be covered by condo association insurance.
Mary resigned the next day when I told her that the situation was not a true emergency having justified such extensive and costly work without other estimates. John sent an email saying we need to decide if we want to add sewer insurance for $38, so I assume the insurance company refused to pay.
Another plumber quoted me about $1700; $2000 with the few other leaks if the work actually needed to be done. However at this point we will never know as no photos were taken and the old piping was removed by the plumber. The CC&Rs call for 3 estimates. Mary knows this because she had to get 3 estimates previously when she claimed her overhead neighbors bathroom leaked into hers and caused mold. The HOA authorized the lowest estimate and forced the upstairs unit to pay.
Is Mary or John accountable for this costly error or will all of the members be forced to pay? The HOA would need to have a special assessment for this. Can they be made to reimburse the HOA? Will the insurance reimburse under our officers and board member insurance coverage? Would the HOA have to sue the officers or the insurance? Any input is appreciated?
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Could someone try and interpret this passage in our CCR's.(Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions)
"The Association has the right and power to prosecute or defend, under the name of the Association, any action affecting or relating to the Project or the personal property thereon, or any action in which all of the Owners have an interest in the subject matter of the action. Notwithstanding the foregoing, without the prior vote or written assent of a majority of the voting power of the Association, the Board may not institute any legal proceeding (including any arbitration or judicial reference proceeding) against any person or entity the cost of which could reasonably be expected to exceed Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($2500.00). In estimating the costs, the Board shall include all normal and customary court cost and attorneys' fees without regard to the possibility of recovery costs and fee the Association were to prevail."
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