Is My HOA Responsible if the Security Gates Malfunctioned and My Car was Vandalized?

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“I live in a condo that has an HOA and it is “gated” and the night the gates were not working for some odd reason my vehicle was vandalized and rims were stolen off my car – $4500.00 including the brand new tires I just put on the rim. Can I go after the HOA because the gates were malfunctioning??? I’m being held responsible for continuing payment on tires I had put on credit and I no longer have them.  Please help.”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

While it’s impossible to say whether you could hold your HOA liable for your stolen property without reading the actual language of your HOA agreement, the general rule is that HOAs cannot be held liable for crime that occurs in the neighborhood; it’s unfortunate that your car was targeted. Unless otherwise stated by the HOA, the association doesn’t have a duty to protect or prevent crimes from occurring in your neighborhood. They can help deter criminal activity (by putting up gates), but the language in HOA agreements is usually very limited. That said, you should review the actual language of your HOA agreement.

While it unlikely you’ll be able to recover the cost of your rims and tires from your HOA, and you will have to continue making payments on your stolen tires and rims, you may be able to make a claim on your auto insurance to recover some of the cost. You may want to check with your auto insurance agent to find out more about your coverage.  Also, check your homeowner’s policy as often that will include property that is not actually inside the house.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.