G.G. from Henderson, Nevada writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I have a mutual wall with neighbors, that is HOA property but I have been told I am responsible for repairs to this wall in the event it has problems. It is 18 feet high. My neighbor drilled holes for plants in the wall and was held in violation by the HOA and told to remove the stakes and wire, my question is how do I protect myself in the future if this damage caused by him becomes a problem in, say 10-20 years? Thanks!
Mister Condo replies:
G.G., I am sorry that your HOA neighbor decided to violate the rules and put you at risk for future damage to the wall. I am not sure that the wall will never have a problem or that this violation by your neighbor will cause the problem if there is one. Have you looked at the wall and determined if there is any damage now? If so, alert the HOA and have them ask the neighbor to fix it. If there is none, there really isn’t too much else you can do and there may never be a problem because of this incident. 10 to 20 years is a long time and my guess is that any wall at 20 years old is going to need some kind of upkeep and/or repair. The good news is decorative walls that HOAs typically use aren’t usually all that expensive to maintain or repair. In my community, the walls are 20+ years old and have held up quite nicely. The HOA handles the painting and cleaning but if they didn’t I would surely do it myself or hire a contractor every 3 to 5 years to keep it looking sharp. All the best!
2 thoughts on “HOA Neighbor Damages Shared Wall”
This is a great question. It is also foreseeable that a similar question may emerge for a more valuable or critical wall / component and shorter time periods of 7-10 years – long after current homeowners, warranties, and board members have moved on. Furthering your difficulty may be that few problems exist independently – there may be a “witches brew” of contributing factors. How does one attribute partial impacts?
The key is documentation. Take photographs of the condition with the time stamp on the digital photo. If an inspection has been done keep the receipt or notarize the assessment. In very high value situations, you may consider registering the evidence with a third party that is hard to forge. Retain a copy of the building plans if available.
Again, these are relatively extreme measures for high value consequences, but when forensics starts to unravel the condition, a few simple documentation measures can go a long way to make the process much simpler and much less expensive to settle in the event that something should go wrong.
1. Hire your own Engineer and get a report on that wall.
2. Sell the unit before a problem develops.