Y.S. from Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
A contractor damaged personal property during construction. The contractor was hired by the HOA’s property manager. The property manager is saying that they are not responsible, and that the contractor said they would not be responsible for any damages either? Is this even legal? What recourse do I have against the HOA/property manager?
Mister Condo replies:
Y.S., I am sorry that you had personal property damaged by a contractor. I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column. Your HOA Property Manager is not likely responsible for damage done by a contractor hired by the HOA (even if the manager did the actual hiring). However, the contractor was working for the HOA, which makes the HOA responsible for the damage. Your recourse is to complain (in writing) to the HOA and include as much documentation as possible. Photos, videos, whatever you have access t, should be included in your complaint. Depending on the dollar value of the damage, you might want to seek legal representation. The HOA may need to sue the contractor or you may need to sure the contractor and the HOA or the contractor might just have his own insurance to pay for the damage. If it is a large amount, this could take a while. If it is a small amount, you will have to determine how much of your time is worth chasing after the money. It is an unfortunate situation and your letter of complaint may prevent this contractor form getting future work for your HOA but that may be all you can do. Good luck!