ASSOCIATION’S MAINTENANCE DUTIES- Reprinted from by Adams Kessler

From Adrian Adams desk comes this reminder to HOA’s about maintenance responsibilities. For more articles, information, humor and more, visit our friends at

Reprinted from by Adams Kessler


Questions regarding maintenance duties are quite common. Operating through their boards of directors, associations have the following duties:
1. Duty to Inspect Common Areas. Boards must inspect the common areas every three years and prepare a reserve study listing all major components, the remaining useful life of those components and the cost to repair or replace them. Civil Code §1365.5(e)

2. Duty to Investigate Complaints. Whenever boards learn of common area problems, such as cracked sidewalks, roof leaks, plumbing backups, etc., they must investigate the problem. Corp. Code §7231(a) They don’t need to personally inspect it, they can rely on managing agents, plumbers, etc. to investigate and report back to the board. If an owner reports a flood inside his/her unit, the board must determine if the leak is originating from (i) the owner’s own plumbing, which is the owner’s responsibility to repair, or (ii) the common area, which is the association’s responsibility to repair. Civil Code §1364(a) Exclusive use common are will depend on your governing documents.

3. Duty to Repair. Regardless of fault, repairs must be made. If the leak is an owner’s responsibility and he/she refuses to repair the damage, the board has three options: (i) initiate daily fines until the owner repairs the damage, (ii) repair the damage and bill the owner for reimbursement, and/or (iii) go into court for an order that the owner either repair the damage or step aside and allow the association to repair it (and assess the owner for reimbursement). The severity of the damage will determine the steps taken.

4. Duty to Disclose. If repairs to the common areas are deferred, the board must disclose to the membership the deferral and the board’s plan for repairs. Civil Code §1365(a)(3)
Adrian Adams

Very truly yours,

Adrian Adams, Esq.
Adams Kessler PLC