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Structural damage

We rent a condo that has attached garages. Last week, someone (we believe our neighbor) crashed into our garage, as well as another neighbors garage and caused significant damage to the garage as well as the wall that joins the units. When the accident happened, the HOA called to let us know. The said the cops were there and that because there appears to be structural damage, we will need a building inspector from the county to come out and inspect the damage before we can perform any repairs. It has been over a week now, and the HOA has not provided any updates on the status of this, even though we have followed up daily. Every time we call, they say that they havent heard from the county. The county building inspection website says that requests for inspection are typically fulfilled in 1-2 business days. The HOA continues to ignore calls from myself and our property manager. This is a huge problem for us as the garage is one of the main reasons we rent here and we are now being forced to walk around the entire building to our front door, making it extremely difficult for us to get groceries. Our cars are also now outside, which is much less safe and bad for the cars since we live in an extremely hot and sunny place. Most importantly though, our garage is now at risk for break in. Anyone could crawl under due to the damage. My question is - am I allowed to contact the county myself for inspection? I am assuming that we have to go through the HOA since the damage is to the entire building and not just our unit, but I'm wondering what other options I have.

Answers and Comments

Since you are a renter.of a need to speak with the Owner of that Unit and have him make the proper inquiries.  Your power is to withhold rent payments from the Owner until this matter is resolved.

19 May 2019

when we had a similar issue, the inspector came out within 24 hours, might have been immediately.  I know of a nother issue in the neighborhood where the PD called the inspector at the time of the incident and he came from home right away.

since you RENT, you need to be calling your landlord. 


of course you can contact the inspectors office yourself....there would be no law against it, and since you are not an owner, you don't answer to the HOA, you answer to your landlord.

YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO LEGALLY WITH HOLD RENT...certainly not if you have not notified your landlord in writing of the request to remedy the situation....and if the landlord is doing what they can to remedy it, you almost certainly would not be allowed to with hold rent.


some states allow with holding rent, some don't....and in states that do, there are specific circumstances and procedures.

19 May 2019

In our COA - the garages are Limited Common Property and are repaired by the condo association --- so could be a long slow process.  If that much damage was done the neighbor's vehicle should also be damaged.  That neighbor's insurance is responsible for repairs.  I'd make sure the owner knows that you can't use the garage that you are paying for and request a reduction in monthly rent until it is repaired and useable.  Association should secure the garage so that it can't be entered by others.

28 May 2019