While Taking Out our Trash Cans My Son Scratched a Neighbor’s Car Parked Too Close to Our Gate, Are we Liable for Damage?

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“I live in a Association Property with communal parking space in front of my backyard gate. We keep our trashcans in the back yard and bring them through this gate and the parking space to the communal street for trash day. Recently, a neighbor parked in the spot on trash day and did not leave much room between my house and his car. When my minor aged son took the trash out, after dark, he scratched our neighbor’s car. Who is liable for the damage to our neighbor’s car, us or the home owner association? We live in California.”

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You didn’t provide enough information for me to answer this. Normally, if you (or, in this case, your minor son) scratch someone’s car, you are responsible for the damage. Why would the responsibility shift to the HOA in this case?

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.