From HOA Law Blog-Association Does Not Have to Stop Water Intrusion Into Condominium Units

Saw this interesting article from David Swedelson’s Blog on an unpublished opinion/case law on water intrusion into a condo unit…


Association Does Not Have to Stop Water Intrusion Into Condominium Units

Calemine v. Jared Court Homeowners Association, Inc.
In an unpublished opinion, the California Court of Appeals, relying on the Supreme Court’s decision in Lamden, upheld a trial court ruling that a condominium association, acting in good faith and in the best interests of the community, can decide not to take action to stop water from intruding or leaking into a unit due to construction defects in common areas.
Jared Court, an 18 unit townhouse style condominium association located in Woodland Hills, California, is made up of four buildings and common area that includes a tennis court, swimming pool, concrete walkways, front patios and mature landscaping. The CC&Rs require that the Association “maintain the portion of the project not occupied by the units [the common area], in good, clean, attractive and sanitary order and repair.”

Each unit in Jared Court has a similar townhouse style three-level design. The lowest level consists of a garage and a windowless “bonus room”; the second level contains an entry foyer, living room, family and dining room, kitchen and powder room; and the upper level has three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
In 1982, shortly after the association was completed, unit owners became aware that water was leaking through the foundation and into the garage and bonus room areas. The association sued the developer/builder for construction defects and received a settlement of $335,000. Using the settlement funds, the association hired a contractor to repair and waterproof the interior of the below-grade surfaces of the garages and bonus rooms.
The repairs performed by that contractor were defective and did not resolve the water intrusion issues. The association sued that contractor in 1996 and settled that second generation defect case for $565,000. During the lawsuit, the association hired a consultant/expert who estimated that it would cost approximately $1,020,896 to repair the defects and stop the water intrusion; and that the repairs would involve extensive trenching and disruption to the common areas.