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Check With HOA For Defects Before Buying A Condo

Check With HOA For Defects Before Buying A Condo


Homeowners’ associations (HOAs) are valuable resources when checking for possible defects before purchasing a condo. Because the HOA is not incentivized by the possibility of a large payout or to lie, deceive or mislead a prospective buyer, consumers may be able to access more detailed and honest information than they might otherwise. Sellers are incentivized to paper over defects in the building or other issues that are currently being contested because their goal is to sell the unit and move. To avoid buying a condo in a building that is engaged in litigation, buyers should reach out to the HOA for additional information.


Defects that apply to the specific unit and those that are in the building (i.e. on the exterior or in the common areas of the building) should concern potential buyers. While most issues with the unit itself must be disclosed by the seller to the buyer, defects in the building may not have to be disclosed.

The Roles of Sellers and HOAs when Buying a Condo

Condos, while managed by the HOA, are sold by property owners. Because sellers typically have a lot to gain when their property sells, they are more apt to paper over potential issues in the building, especially if the duty to disclose is ambiguous. The HOA is more focused on ensuring that buyers are aware of potential problems and increases to annual assessments that may arise to cover costs associated with repairs.

Issues with Defects to Common Areas

The way a property issue is dealt with often depends on the ability and assertiveness of the HOA and the participating community. For example, if the defect is traceable to a construction issue, the HOA might seek replacement or repair services from the builder or file a lawsuit to pursue compensation from the responsible party. Such situations often require that the HOA board takes affirmative action on behalf of the community.

If the problem is traceable to normal wear and tear, then the HOA may levy an increased assessment to pay for the repairs. Even if the HOA recovers funds from the responsible party, it may still have to order an assessment to cover unanticipated costs. Communities that dispute increased HOA assessments can delay repairs to defects for months or even years.

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    Memberships & Associations

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