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Damage to HVAC due to HOA Negligence

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bschneids26

New member
I am looking for some direction on cases of owner vs HOA? My HOA in Minnesota failed to remove huge icicles overhanging from my roof during the winter (after I had inquired about them doing so since I was afraid of damage). When the weather warmed and they fell, they caused $900 worth of damage to my HVAC heating and cooling unit. Luckily the damage is pretty much only cosmetic, but my HOA is saying that it;s not their responsibility to fix it because unfortunately they had "exhausted all of their funds for snow and ice removal at that time in the winter." I'd like to fight it at the next board meeting, but am having trouble finding evidence of cases where HOA was held accountable for actions such as this. If anyone has any leads or advice for me I would appreciate it!!
 


PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
What does your HOA agreement say about the clearing of snow and ice and liability or lack of liability?

There may well be many court cases out there that put such liability on HOAs but the agreements in those cases may not be like yours.
 

bschneids26

New member
This is directly some the HOA Governing Documents. It is worth noting that the past winter, the Association did order snow and ice removal at extra cost.

"Winter Care:
Homeowners are responsible for snow removal for snowfalls of less that 1.5". Greater accumulations will be handled by a contractor. Snow plowing of roadways, driveways, and shoveling of sidewalks and stairs to each unit's from door will be performed by the contractor following these accumulations, and completed within 12 hours of cessation of snowfall. Deicing material will be applied to roadways and intersections known to have icing problems. In the event of very significant snow events, other rules apply.

Contractor is not responsible for the following, unless ordered by the Association at extra cost:
1. Snow remaining after clean up due to parked cars.
2. Snow removal from patios, roofs, or decks.
3. Ice acccumulation on drives, steps, walkways, garage aprons or other paved areas caused by traffic, drainage, ice storms or melt/freeze ice conditions.
4. Snow removal, hauling, relocating snow piles on or off the property.
5. Snow removal past any closed gate, or damage to wood or paint on steps due to shoveling operations.

It is recommended that you read the more detailed description of these contracted services on the Management Co.'s website."

I inquired with the Senior Association Manager about the last sentence and she told me "...these rules are a bit old. The Board is working on re-writing them because statements such as the one you read below is not relevant."
 

gryndor

Member
I may be missing it but I see nothing in there that requires the HOA remove icicles no matter their size.
3. Ice accumulation ... drainage ... melt/freeze ice conditions.
Would that not be covered by #3? Melting and refreezing are how icicles are formed. I read this as mostly ice sheets on the ground, but it could cover icicles as well...
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Would that not be covered by #3? Melting and refreezing are how icicles are formed. I read this as mostly ice sheets on the ground, but it could cover icicles as well...
It says that the contractor is NOT responsible for those things.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
Would that not be covered by #3? Melting and refreezing are how icicles are formed. I read this as mostly ice sheets on the ground, but it could cover icicles as well...
No because you need to read ALL of #3.

3. Ice acccumulation on drives, steps, walkways, garage aprons or other paved areas caused by traffic, drainage, ice storms or melt/freeze ice conditions.
 

bschneids26

New member
I may be missing it but I see nothing in there that requires the HOA remove icicles no matter their size.
It does not require it normally, except in the event that the Association orders extra removal (which they did this past winter). The Association failed to remove the icicles over my and my neighbors unit, even though I brought the danger to their attention.
 

PayrollHRGuy

Senior Member
It does not require it normally, except in the event that the Association orders extra removal (which they did this past winter). The Association failed to remove the icicles over my and my neighbors unit, even though I brought the danger to their attention.
Again, there was nothing in what you posted that states the HOA has any liability to remove icicles. Just because they had done it in the past doesn't create an ongoing requirement.
 

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