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Distressed homeowner faces costly dilemma after repeated floods in condo unit: 'Why couldn't they override [this] years ago?'

"The cost of neglecting the pipes will be much, much more expensive than the increase in premiums."

"The cost of neglecting the pipes will be much, much more expensive than the increase in premiums."

Photo Credit: iStock

A distressed homeowner has had enough of their homeowners association after multiple floods in their building created an expensive and hazardous situation. 

In the subreddit r/f***HOA, the homeowner declared that they were "taking matters into [their] own hands" and bringing in a plumber to replace 20 feet of "extremely corroded" pipes. 

"I purchased my condo two months ago, and my kids live there. I've had two floods in a six-week period. One was sewage and cost me $30K to clean and redo floors, drywall, and a bathroom," they explained on Reddit.  

πŸ—£οΈ How much money do you plan to spend on home improvement projects this year?

πŸ”˜ Under $1K 😎

πŸ”˜ $1K to $5K πŸ’΅

πŸ”˜ $5K to $10K πŸ’°

πŸ”˜ Over $10K πŸ€‘

πŸ—³οΈ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

They added that the HOA "only will pay for Band-Aid solutions" and that efforts to contact board members haven't achieved the desired result.

"They have been voted down by homeowners and are overriding the vote this year to fix the plumbing. Why couldn't they override it years ago?" the OP asked in frustration, opening the floor to other Redditors for advice. 

As the OP pointed out, the worn-out pipes were not only creating the need for costly repairs and wasting water but also creating a health hazard. 

Sewage contains bacteria that can cause stomach illnesses, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that workers exposed to it be up to date on a range of vaccinations, including hepatitis A and B.

Corroded pipes, meanwhile, can increase the risk of exposure to lead in drinking water and release toxic chemicals into the environment, also harming plants and animals.   

This isn't the first time someone has shared a troubling tale of an HOA preventing them from making an upgrade that would benefit their wallet and their health. 

One HOA in Georgia tried to get rid of a homeowner's solar panels, which save people money on electric bills and reduce harmful pollution because the sun is a form of clean energy.  

Another homeowner certified their native lawn as a wildlife sanctuary in order to keep their HOA off their back, demonstrating how knowing what questions to ask can be an excellent beginning to creative solutions or even HOA bylaw changes. 

In this case, commenters were seriously concerned by the safety hazard created by the neglectful HOA.

One recommended the OP contact both building management and a lawyer but hold off on any pipe-related activities not within their own condo, while another encouraged them to reach out to their insurance company. 

"You do know if you make the repairs yourself, you are letting them off the hook. Along with that, the HOA taking no action leaves you open to issues caused by other poor plumbing in the building," another Redditor advised

"The cost of neglecting the pipes will be much, much more expensive than the increase in [insurance] premiums," someone else pointed out

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