In California is an HOA/Property Manager responsible for having accurate contact information in case of an emergency?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

‘I have vacated my condo, but my downstairs neighbor had a problem with a leak coming from my condo upstairs. She tried to contact the HOA but they are closed on the weekend. None of the board members had access to my contact information, so my neighbor called the fire department to check out the problem. The fire department then knocked down my door to get in and assess the problem. The HOA repaired my door, which I thought would be their responsibility anyway, but now the Fire Department has billed me $500 for having to board up the door after they broke in. If the HOA had contacted me I could have told them that there was a key under my doormat. I don’t feel that I should be responsible for any of the damage since I gave the HOA accurate contact information. Is there any legal justification to support this?’

I’m confused. You said the board didn’t have your contact information, then you said you gave them your contact information. If this came to a lawsuit, my guess is that the result would depend on the specific facts of the situation. How urgent was it that someone get into your condo? Precisely what did the HOA do to try to contact you? That sort of thing.

Given that there’s only $500 at stake, you could either write a few complaint letters to the HOA, then write it off if they don’t respond favorably, or else consider taking them to small claims court and trying your luck there.