Homeowner's flooring ruined by "raw sewage," HOA refuses to pay

- A Charlotte landlord successfully sued her homeowner's association after she said raw sewage took over her townhome in November, but the H.O.A. is appealing that judge's decision.

"How horrible to be living in a place and have sewage backup," landlord Barbara Parker said.

Parker owns multiple townhomes in the Coventry Woods neighborhood off Coronado Drive and Sharon Amity Road. Parker said one of her units flooded with raw sewage as her unit is located at the bottom of a hill.

Parker said the H.O.A. said it could take months to make repairs as it needed to get pricing estimates, but Parker said she couldn't wait.

North Carolina law states that landlords must provide a "habitable" environment for tenants (N.C.G.S. 42-42 (a)(2).

"It was very bad," Parker said. "I couldn't come [inside] because it smelled so bad."

So, Parker paid for new flooring out of her own pocket and planned on the H.O.A. reimbursing her but that has not happened.

Parker claimed H.O.A. bylaws place the responsibility on the association since the damage came from outside issues and a Mecklenburg County judge agreed.

Parker was awarded $7,781.57 in court but the H.O.A. is appealing the judge's ruling.

The nearly $7,781.57 is supposed to cover new flooring, new cabinets and a mold testing kit, all related to the home being flooded.

The judge's order reads, in part...

"Plaintiff stated that she pays Home Owner's Association dues each month for Defendant to manage and maintain all common areas of the property; however, Defendant has breached the agreement by failing to properly remedy the situation in common areas, when in fact; Defendant was clearly put on notice of the continuous nature of rain water damage inside her unit."

The order mentions that "French Drains" in the common area could divert rain water from continuously coming into the unit.

An arbitration hearing is set for July 11 at 10:30 a.m.

The H.O.A.'s attorney, Thomas Thurman, said no board members would be commenting on FOX 46 Charlotte's story. Thurman said, "...it does not wish to engage in anything that could be perceived as an inappropriate attempt to influence the outcome of the case."

While no one would go on record with FOX 46 Charlotte, Parker provided a letter from the H.O.A.'s attorney, that said $4,312.96 was already spent on sewage cleanup by the H.O.A. and that it planned to pursue a claim to replace the floors before Parker went ahead and replaced them on her own.

The attorney claimed the flooring was not a replacement, but an "upgrade" and prevented the H.O.A. from making an insurance claim. He also said an insurance claim for cabinet replacements was denied by insurance.

Kuester Management, which is contracted by the H.O.A., declined comment, as well.

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