Unpleasant surprises for HOA homeowners

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities


Property owners in this St. Louis (MO) homeowners’ association are coping with sewage backup, suing their Property Owners’ Association for failure to repair the lateral sewer line located on association property.

Portland Place with its historic enclave of grand homes situated near Forest Park, has a sewage system that is showing its age.

Portland Place property owners claim association failed to fix sewers

by Lhalie Castillo | Nov. 10, 2017, 1:42pm

ST. LOUIS — Property owners are suing homeowners’ association trustees, citing alleged breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud.

Mark T. McCloskey and Patricia N. McCloskey filed a complaint on Oct. 23, in the St. Louis Circuit Court against Sanjay Jain, Russell John and Richard Gemberling, Portland Place Association trustees, alleging they breached their duties to maintain the sewer lateral in Portland Place.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that as a result of the debris and obstructions at the sewer lateral, water backed up and flowed into the plaintiffs’ home. They paid to repair a collapsed portion of the sewer lateral at their property but were unable to repair those that pass through defendants’ roadway. They claim they have suffered damages to real estate and personal property, annoyance, inconvenience and emotional distress.

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In this Pennsylvania neighborhood, somebody goofed 30 years ago, so a water main supplying townhomes of the Fairways HOA was never transferred to Warrington township. Homeowners just discovered that their HOA must now bear the unexpected cost of expensive water main repairs.

The question is, why isn’t the township taking responsibility for its past failure to make certain the developer dedicated the water main 3 decades ago?

How in the world could homeowners, then or now, know that their water main was not being monitored and maintained by the water utility? I assume residents have been paying water utility bills all along.

Warrington homeowners, township working on water main dispute

By Chris Ullery

Posted Dec 1, 2017 at 6:00 AM
Lost paperwork for a water main dedication 30 years ago for the 64-unit Fairways Homeowners Association puts infrastructure ownership in the air and homeowners concerned on future maintenance issues.

Missing paperwork from more than 30 years ago has 64 Warrington homeowners and township officials unsure of who is responsible for the water infrastructure in the area.

Gail Drages, president of the Townhomes on the Fairways homeowners association, and several homeowners told Warrington supervisors Tuesday they believed the township has shown a history of ownership for the water system, but township officials said the system’s age may require a new inspection before the town will take responsibility.

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And in Lehi, Utah, eight families are cleaning up and planning to repair damage to their basements from a sewage backup in their townhouses. The city has determined the cause of the backup to be a clog caused by grease and towels. The HOA will probably be on the hook for sewer system repairs.

Homeowners will need to pay for cleanup and repairs inside their homes.

In newer planned townhouse communities, shared water and sewer lines can serve more than one home. Therefore, a breakage or blockage anywhere along the common line can affect multiple homes.


Flooding in multiple Lehi basements causes damage; awful smells


LEHI, Utah – A smelly and disgusting surprise bubbled up from the drains in the basements of eight town homes in Lehi last Thursday.

“Wait a minute, that’s sewage. This is sewage,” said Laureen Madsen, the owner of one of the townhomes.

“It was yellow and there was, there was particles floating around in it,” said Katie Koivisto, another townhome owner. “It smelled moldy, like a really bad bathroom. Like if someone went to the bathroom and hadn’t flushed for like a week, it was disgusting, it was horrible.”

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Flooding in multiple Lehi basements causes damage; awful smells

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