Los Angeles, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for California

Q: HOA negligence: renter to go after landlord or HOA?

Hello, my car was damaged because of HOA negligence.

There was a leak in the garage, I asked for it to be fixed for 6 months and they didn’t so the paint is damaged and it will cost $2000 to fix.

Now the leak was fixed because I said I would make them pay for it.

Do I demand the be refunded for the auto shop by the landlord or HOA? I’m renting from an homeowner.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Since you are renting, the best approach legally would be to go after the HOA rather than your landlord for the damages to your car. Here's why:

- The HOA had the responsibility to maintain and repair issues with the garage, so they would be liable for negligence leading to property damage (your car's paint job).

- As a renter, you do not have privity of contract with the HOA, so you would not sue them directly. But your landlord as the owner would.

- You should inform your landlord of the issue and demand they take action by pursuing the HOA for damages to reimburse you. Most leases require disclosure of hazards.

- If your landlord refuses to cooperate, you could potentially take them to small claims court for the cost of the repairs. But going after the HOA is simpler and more straightforward legally.

So in conclusion, put the legal responsibility on the HOA through demanding your landlord take action against them, rather than only going after the landlord yourself.

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