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Condo owner frustrated after tropical storm causes serious property damage after HOA failed to act: 'At this point you probably need a lawyer'

"All they had to do was fix it."

"All they had to do was fix it."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

If you think that getting a simple repair covered by your HOA will be easy, think again. HOAs around the country are notorious for dragging their feet on necessary repairs — and in one case, the issues have been going on for months

A condo owner posted on Reddit about their frustrations trying to get their HOA to replace a leaking roof, which displaced them for over nine months. 

First, the HOA took over a month to remove mold caused by the leaking roof. After that, they claimed that everything was fixed.

But things escalated further after a tropical storm. "There are bubbles in our upstairs ceiling, as the roof is continuing to leak. This is a flat roof that obviously needs to be replaced," OP wrote. But even though the HOA's contractor "initially told [them] the drains were not flush with the roof," he then "turned around and said our contractors put holes in the ceiling and that's where the leaks were coming from."

One commenter summed it up: "At this point you probably need a lawyer."

Other commenters empathized with the predicament. "All they had to do was fix it. Now they will have to fix it and pay for OP's new repairs," one wrote. "This is the problem with so many bureaucracies, they are so scared to spend money that they will let a problem fester until they have to spend multiple times more money. It's insane."

Indeed, HOAs have built a not-so-shining reputation when it comes to implementing helpful and cost-effective policies — even ones that will bolster the community's value and improve the quality of life for residents, like planting natural lawns. And with 30% of the US living in an HOA-governed community, this is an issue that will likely affect most people at one point.

Another complicating factor is that tropical storms, like the one OP dealt with, are increasing in frequency and intensity because of global heating. Seas are warmer and higher, which in turn makes hurricanes stronger; the number of major hurricanes has doubled since 1980, and unless global heating slows down, that trend will continue.

But even with the most frustrating HOAs, there are ways to fight back.

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