My husband and I reside in a townhouse community in the heart of Lincoln, Nebraska.
In the early days of May this year, I made up my mind to swap out my kitchen faucet, marking the start of a series of home improvement tasks. After spending hours watching kitchen faucet replacement videos, I decided it was best to bring in a professional plumber. Upon their arrival, they discovered that the shut off valve leading into our unit was faulty. They assured us they could fix it, but first, we needed the green light from the HOA, and their maintenance team would have to cut off the water supply to the entire building. Essentially, I’m accountable for everything inside the unit, and the HOA takes care of the outside.
I relayed this information to the HOA, who then decided to send their maintenance person to verify the location of our unit’s shut off valve, as they were skeptical of the plumbers’ claim. After a thorough 20-minute search, the maintenance person concurred that the shut off valve identified by the plumbers was indeed the correct one. We then reached an agreement with the HOA management to cut off the building’s water supply to allow the plumbers to carry out their work. I scheduled the plumber to return at 9am the following day, with the HOA’s approval. The HOA assured me that their maintenance person would be present to assist.
However, the next day didn’t go as planned. The maintenance person arrived early at 7:30 am, attempted to shut off the unit’s valve, and then left for a medical appointment, leaving behind a slight trickle of water from the kitchen faucet for the plumber to work with. As expected, the plumbers were not pleased. Maintenance staff from other units had to step in to assist the plumbers, only to discover that the building’s main shut off valve was also defective. After waiting for two hours, the plumbers had to leave, and I was left to cover their call-out fee.
After several discussions with the HOA, they concluded that a specialist plumber was required to repair the building’s shut off valve. Fast forward to late June, and the HOA revealed that there’s no blueprint of the development’s pipe layout, and they are clueless about the location of the building’s shut off valve. Their excuse was that multiple developers constructed the different buildings and somehow lost the blueprints in the process.
This issue is holding up my home improvement projects. I’m also worried about the potential disaster if a water emergency were to occur in either my unit or my neighbor’s. I find it unacceptable that they don’t know the layout of the unit’s pipes. The master deed clearly states that they are responsible for maintaining the water system. Although they’re now attempting to rectify the issue, it’s evident that they’ve neglected this duty in the past, and their incompetence is costing us money.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Is legal action a viable option?