R.E. from Jefferson County, Colorado writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Typically, whose responsibility (HOA or owner) is it for maintenance of items located in the crawl space? For instance, typically is the HOA responsible for the water pipes, sewer pipes, and electrical wiring located in the crawl space? And, wouldn’t removable items like water heaters and furnaces located in a crawl space be the responsibility of the owner?
Mister Condo replies:
R.E., I am not sure I have a lot of experience with crawl space common elements to draw upon to answer your question so let me ask you a few questions to help clarify my thoughts. In a condominium, the association is usually responsible for maintaining the common elements which include the items you described (water pipes, sewer pipes, electrical conduit, and such). In an HOA comprised of individual homes, the individual homeowners are responsible for those items as they only service the homeowner and the HOA holds no responsibility for those items. Whether or not an item is removable really doesn’t factor in to the ownership equation. In my experience, it would be unusual for an association to own an appliance like a water heater or furnace that was housed in a unit owners crawl space. Again, if the water heater or furnace service multiple units and is owned in common, the association may have responsibility for the unit but I would think that unlikely. All the best!