My HOA is Not Providing Adequate Hot Water to My Complex. How Can I Get This Resolved?

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‘I live in a Townhouse Covenant Control Complex in Aurora, Co., part of the HOA fee includes the complex providing domestic water for consumption & water for heating the units. There are 6 units per building and each building has community boilers, one for the domestic water & the other one to provide hot water for the heating elements in each unit. Over the last few months, there have been issues with both boilers. I know that the boiler for supplying the hot water to heat the units was replaced, but continues to be inadequate for the cold temperatures that we get in Co. At the time, the HOA’s plumber told me that he has been in the process of trying to fix the hot water boiler that supplies the units with hot water for domestic use. The problem is that they don’t get it fixed, everyday there is never enough water for 1 shower, much less enough
hot water for all of the residents in our building. I have continued to inform the Property Management Site Property Manager that the lack of hot water still has not been fixed. If the HOA agreement is that they are supplying the hot water, what can the residents do in order to make this problem gets resolved? These units were built in 1969, and there is no way that they can become self efficient as individual units, without major and costly remodeling. What is the recourse to get them to replace the boiler rather than trying to do quick fixes?’

[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.]

There are a number of possibilities, but they all depend on how your HOA is organized. You will need to review your HOA documents to see what your options are. The easiest thing to do would be to pursue any
grievance procedure that is in place. To the extent that the HOA is obligated to provide a service, you may be able to file a lawsuit to enforce that right, though that is likely to be a very expensive option.

There may also be procedures for recalling the leadership (Board of Directors), or at least of voting them out at the next election, but of course that requires the cooperation of a majority of the votes and, perhaps more importantly, someone else who is willing to volunteer to take over the job.

Depending on your local laws, there may be a requirement that human housing have reasonable hot (and cold) water supplies. However, I’d be hesitant before calling in the housing inspector–since you’re the
owners, you may be on the hook for the cost of an emergency fix.

It’s also possible that this is a physical problem, and not a political one. Did the plumber tell you that he recommended a different fix and was told not to do it? If the HOA management is not purposely cutting corners, but rather just trying the less expensive fix first, there may be no better answer than patience (and continuing to let them know when the fixes don’t work).

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Author: House Attorney

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