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Legal News and Notes for Community Association Boards and Managers
April 2019

Do We Finally Have an Answer to the Age Old Question: Is the Association liable for damages to a unit when the roof leaks?


By Steven S. Weil, Esq.

The facts in this LA case, Sands v Walnut Gardens Condominium Association, are simple. Pipes on the common area roof leaked causing water damage to the owner's unit. According to the manager's trial testimony the Association performed no preventative maintenance even though it would have been desirable; he said the roof and pipe had not been inspected or maintained in years. The CC&Rs required the Association to maintain the project “in first class condition”.

After presentation of the evidence but before the case was submitted to the jury, the Association filed a “non suit” motion. It basically said the case should be dismissed even if all the evidence presented was true because that evidence failed to show there was a breach of contract or negligence. While the trial court granted the motion, the appellate court reversed. It suggested that the utter failure to inspect or maintain might have been enough for a jury to conclude (and without expert testimony) that the Association breached the CC&R “contract” requiring maintenance to a first class condition standard.


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Upcoming Events

Come and meet us at some of the following events and speaking engagements,
we hope to see you there!



Power Board: Reserve Study Updates — La Gran Terraza (6:00 - 8:00 pm)

Please RSVP to Shelby Powell


CAI BayCen Golf Classic — Hiddenbrooke Golf Club


ECHO Annual HOA University & Expo — Santa Clara Convention Center

Andrea O'Toole and Aaron Hayes are presenting on Law & Governance (2:45 - 3:45 pm)

Andrea O'Toole, Aaron Hayes, and Katrina Solomatina are a part of Ask the Attorneys (3:45 - 4:30 pm)


CAI BayCen SF Luncheon — Marines Memorial Club & Hotel


CAI OC Educational Luncheon — Irvine Marriot Grand Ball Room


CAI SD Trade Show & Leadership Luncheon — DoubleTree by Hilton San Diego

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BERDING|WEIL lawyers are highly experienced construction defect, community association, and transactional real estate attorneys. We bring a thorough understanding of our clients' issues and creative solutions for their legal needs.

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Berding & Weil

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