Can I sue my condo association?
Short Answer: Yes.
Just as residents must follow the rules and regulations set forth by the condo associations, your condo association must stick to its own rules and follow through with its responsibilities.
For example, if your condo association fails to maintain, repair, or replace common areas as required by the CC&Rs or other governing documents, residents are entitled to take legal action.
It’s best for everyone involved if residents meet with the condo association first to resolve issues. But, if a meeting does not initiate action by the association to remedy the issue, residents should take legal action.
Common claims against condo associations are a breach of fiduciary duty, breach of covenants, and negligence.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Under the Texas Uniform Condominium Act, you can make a claim for breach of fiduciary duty against a condo association. That means that your condo association has a responsibility to act in your best interests, and if they try to serve their own interest over yours, you can sue them.
The Texas Property Code dictates that “each officer or member of the board is liable as a fiduciary of the unit owners for the officer’s or member’s acts or omissions.”
Tex. Prop. Code § 82.103 (West 2017).
To win a case based on a breach of fiduciary duty, you have to prove 3 things:
(1) A fiduciary relationship existed
(2) The condo association breached their fiduciary duty to the plaintiff
(3) An injury to the plaintiff or benefit to the defendant occurred as a result of the defendant’s breach.
(Yeske v. Piazza Del Arte, Inc., 513 S.W.3d 652, 661 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2016)
A condo’ association owes a fiduciary duty to all community residents and may be subject to liability as such.
Breach of Covenants
Before filing a claim based on breach of covenants, it’s important to review the CC&Rs and any other governing documents to assure a covenant has been breached by your condo association.
These governing documents serve as contracts between you and the condo association. If the HOA breaches a rule or regulation outlined in the governing documents, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
You can pursue a claim of negligence when the condo association has contractually undertaken a duty to maintain and control the common areas and has failed to do so.
In Texas, negligence is outlined as “the existence of a legal duty, breach of that duty, and damages proximately caused by the breach.”
(Gharda USA, Inc. v. Control Solutions, Inc. 464 S.W.3d 338, 352 (Tex. 2015)
Many condo associations are contractually obligated to maintain the common areas of the community. If the HOA has failed to do so, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of covenants, and negligence may be appropriate legal actions for you to take.
No one should have to suffer poor performance and negligent treatment when they have a contract in place with their condo association. Condo fees can be expensive, and condo owners should see their hard-earned money contribute to an improved lifestyle.
But sometimes, condo associations fall short of expectations and contractual obligations. If written notices, emails, and phone calls aren’t getting your condo association to make things right according to your agreement, it might be time to take legal action.
Contact top-tier attorneys at Malley Law Firm for assistance with exploring your options. It’s a no-risk opportunity to make things right, and it’s the first step in getting the results you deserve after you’ve been subject to negligence from your condo association.