New condo neighbor broker damaged our intercom

jengarden65May 20, 2013

correction, header should read:
New condo neighbor damaged our intercom

Our next door townhouse/condo neighbor recently purchased their UNIT C from the an investment company. When the investment company renovated the unit, they accidentally cut a series wire that killed the intercom system for our UNIT D and the neighbor on our other side, UNIT E. They also dismanteld the intercom and covered up any indication that there was a pre-existing intercom. The new owners of UNIT C purchased their home under the impression that the whole condo building did not have an intercom.

The wire in Unit C needs to be reconnected in order for UNIT D/E's intercome to work, kind of like a bad bulb in a string of Xmas lights. This will involve opening up holes in the wall to determine where the wire was cut so that it can be reconnected.

We have approached UNIT C and they will not pay to fix it because they don't believe they are responsible. They believe the HOA should collectively write a letter to the investment company that they purchased their UNIT C from and demand the repairs from the investment company. In the Purchase Agreement that UNIT C signed there is a warranty that excludes intercoms. They claim their inspection company did not even know that the unit should have an intercom.

I believe UNIT C purchased their unit and inherited the problems with it. They should pay for the repairs within their unit that affect UNIT D/E and then go after the investment company on their own time.

The HOA wants us to resolve it ourselves and says it is within our units so they are not responsible.

Does anyone know who would actually be responsible?

This post was edited by jengarden65 on Mon, May 20, 13 at 16:25

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The investment company is responsible. Or the owners of the unit at the time the investment company was doing the renovations, if the investment company didn't own the unit.

I agree with Unit C that the HOA should take some part in this and work with the three affected units to resolve the issue with the investment company.

If the HOA is unwilling to act and the three affected units cannot get the investment company to pay to repair what they damaged, then I think all three units should go into together on the repairs.

It really isn't Unit C's fault this happened. They may not care about getting the intercom fixed--they were clearly happy buying the unit without an intercom. I don't think they should have to bear the full cost of the repairs for a mistake someone else made.

Of course the HOA doesn't want to deal with this. It will take time, money and most likely a lawyer to get this resolved. I'd read through the HOA rules and regulations very carefully to see if you can find a clause that will force them to take action.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2013 at 11:20PM
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Another question--when was the wire cut? The day before the owners of Unit C signed the sale contract? Or earlier?

Because I'm wondering why you didn't pursue getting the intercom fixed right away, and instead waited for the unit to be sold.

I'd back off on pressuring the owners of C to pay for everything. You will have to live next door to these people until one of you moves--perhaps for years. It doesn't make for good neighbors for the newcomer to be pressured to make repairs to something they might not want and didn't know existed when they bought the unit. First impressions count.

My guess is that if you can't get the investment company to pay and you can't get the HOA to pay, then the only way to get a functioning intercom is to pay for it yourselves. You might be able to get C to pay for a third of the costs. That seems fair and reasonable.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 4:37PM
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