D.M. from Hartford County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our small HOA requires vehicles to be garaged at night with few exceptions made for vehicles too big to fit in garage. Given these vehicles are parking outside in the homeowners’ driveways located on common area, would the HOA or homeowner be responsible if the vehicle was broken in to or damaged?
Mister Condo replies:
D.M., HOAs are not typically held accountable for crimes that are committed on their common grounds. After all, they are not the police and have not authority to detain or deter criminals. That being said, the HOA might be wise to install some sort of security system (CCTV, for instance) or enroll in a Neighborhood Watch type program, especially if the common grounds are experiencing high rates of criminal activity. Privately held automobile insurance is the likely source for any relief from such break-ins. I hope your HOA doesn’t experience such problems regularly but I do hope the HOA takes steps to try and deter crime for the sake of all residents. All the best!