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HOA gets unwanted garbage as trash collector fails to appear

California courts host a continual flow of disputes between homeowners' associations and their tenants or others. Most condo and single-family residential developments utilize the HOA as a method to administer certain management functions that are common to the homes comprising the development. The state has passed a regiment of laws that govern how the association is to be formed and the general scope of its authority.

Despite the legal strictures, disputes regularly arise and generally comprise a separate body of case law in California jurisprudence. These scenarios are often repetitive nationwide. For example, in one recent incident in another state, a homeowners' association experienced a serious breach of contract with a private supplier of services. For some undisclosed reason, the private trash collector for the Park Pointe homeowners stopped collecting the trash.

The residents' quality of life plummeted as trash built up on the sidewalk for weeks. Animals broke into and scattered the trash, while the stench permeated the air. The HOA was inundated with calls and complaints from member residents. The only explanation by the HOA was that it contracted for the service in 2015 and that it was fine for a while. As time went on, however, the service began to get questionable and the frequency of pickups dropped.

The 388 homeowners in the HOA pay $650 annually for their services. The association claims it has been paying $4,092 per month for trash pickups. When contacted, the trash pickup company stated that it would try to work things out and pay the HOA for its losses. Litigation was never filed, but if the case was in this state, the association would have a strong case for breach of contract damages under California law. The lesson learned may be for such associations to do better homework prior to entering contractual relationships.

Source: click2houston.com, "Sugar Land-area HOA in dispute with provider over trash...", Sophia Beausoleil, April 12, 2018

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