K.T. from Washington County, Wisconsin writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am a president of an association. I have only been in this position for a year but I have a member who wants us to pay for a garage door repair that the old board refused to pay. The reason she wants us to pay is she claims her garage door was damaged by our lawn care people and the old president told her that the problem was between her and the lawn care people because garage doors are the member’s responsibility to maintain and replace. Is this a correct answer since the association hires and pays for the landscapers?
Mister Condo replies:
K.T., congratulations on being elected Board President. Unfortunately, the job doesn’t come with the wisdom of Solomon which is often needed when problems arise. While it is a shame that a contractor damaged a unit owner’s property, it is likely not the responsibility of the association to pay for the repair. This is a good example of what insurance is for. The contractor who caused the damage is at fault. The homeowner should pursue them for the repair. Additionally, the homeowner should put a claim in on their own insurance for the repair and let the insurer decide if the cost is worth claiming against the contractor and their insurer. The homeowner will not be happy with this solution because it puts the responsibility on them. However, as you have pointed out, the maintenance of the door is their responsibility. I side with the previous Board President on this one. Good luck!