Minnesota Court of Appeals: An HOA’s failure to quickly stop a leak is both negligent and a trespass
In this recently decided case, a townhome owner had filed suit against his HOA for water damage caused by a pipe leak. The townhome association owned an easement under Mr. Chiu's home, in his crawlspace, for a domestic water pipe that served other units. The pipe ruptured, flooding the crawlspace and causing damage to Chiu's home. Chiu immediately reported the leak to his homeowners association, and was told that there was "nothing they could do". The water continued to flow and cause damage. The water was not turned off until two days after Chiu's notification to the HOA. Chiu sued the HOA not in breach of contract (as would be typical, pursuant to the Declaration), but rather in negligence and trespass. The Minnesota Court of Appeals allowed both legal theories to stand.
Attorney Alex Nelson interviewed on Gene Sullivan’s “Where you Live”
Gene interviews BKSN attorney Alex Nelson about numerous construction defect litigation issues impacting HOAs, including statutes of limitation and repose.
Protecting the HOA in Spite of Itself: Shareholder Derivative Actions
Unfortunately, construction defects are far from uncommon in townhome, condominium, and other common interest communities. When faced with defects, the typical response of an HOA Board of Directors is to retain legal counsel and pursue the developer, contractor(s), and/or design professionals, ultimately putting the financial burden of the needed repairs on those who caused the construction defects in the first place. What happens though when an HOA Board of Directors is unwilling to take legal action?