My Home Owner’s Association is Holding us Responsible for Damage to our Fence Made Prior to us Moving in, Who is Responsible?

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“We purchased our home 9 months ago. The owners who lived here prior to us painted the fence and now the fence paint is chipping. Our HOA is now contacting us stating that the painting of the fence is a violation of the Declaration of Covenants and we are responsible for replacing the entire fence. This Declaration existed years before we moved in. Why should we be responsible? Should the HOA have held the previous owners responsible when they breached the Declaration?”

[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.]

From the HOA’s perspective, you’re probably the correct person to go after, because you own the property NOW. However, that doesn’t mean that you might not be entitled to reimbursement from the prior owners, especially if they knew (or should have known) that they were acting in violation of the Declaration.

I’d contact your real estate agent first, and see if you can informally work something out. Failing that, get yourself to an attorney.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.