J.I. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
If my board hires and pays a contractor to repair my patio, and I am not happy with the work that was done, can I withhold payment and refuse to reimburse the Board?
Mister Condo replies:
J.I., the short answer is “no”, you cannot do that. If you withhold an assessment from your association, they will very likely put your account into collections from an attorney or other collector who will have the power to file a court action against you, perhaps damage your credit rating, and even get a court order to foreclose on your property in the most extreme of cases. I am guessing you don’t want any of these things to happen so you should pay your assessment. If your unit was not returned to the like condition it was in before the repairs, you should first speak with your Board about your dissatisfaction with the work and ask for further remediation. If they refuse, and they might very well do that, your only other option is to seek legal help to see if you have a case against the association for not adequately repairing your unit. Keep in mind that repairing to your level of satisfaction is not the standard used to determine if the repair was adequate. If the repair created a functional level of use to you, it is quite possible that was all the association was obligated to do. If you believe that use was not returned to you as a result of the repairs and the Board refuses to do anything else for you, you may wish to seek legal help to see if there is anything more you can do. My guess is the association has already fulfilled its obligation to repair the patio and that any additional upgrades to that repair may be on you and with the association’s permission if there are any architectural compliance items to consider. Good luck!
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Why do you respond with ” My guess is the association has already fulfilled its obligation to repair the patio …” How do you know this?
Mary, there is no way for me to “know” this but since the association is not performing any additional work, I think it is fair to say they consider the repair complete. What do you think?
Several possible scenarios come to mind: The HOA may have limited the repairs to safety issues only for now due to budget constraints. The HOA may have simply been making minor repairs in preparation for a paint cycle. The HOA may have made complete replacements due to plans that were drawn. There may have been code limitations. I have seen some HOAs agree to upgrades or making replacements sooner than scheduled for if the owner agreed to pay for it. There may be a quality workmanship issue or incompatible materials were used in which case the owner could appeal to the HOA for a correction. Hope this helps.