In DOVER VILLAGE ASSOC. v. JENNISON, 191 Cal.App.4th 123 (2010), the appellate court in Orange County held that the Association was responsible for maintaining a sewer pipe that was two feet under the slab. Patrick E. Jennison had a leaky sewer pipe two feet beneath the concrete slab underlying his Newport Beach condo. The homeowners association said he was responsible for the repair bill on the theory that the sewer pipe was “exclusive use common area” for which he was responsible. On cross-motions for summary judgment,
the trial court disagreed, and entered a judgment declaring that the association should bear the expense of the repair cost. The court later awarded Jennison about $17,000 in attorney fees and court costs. The association appealed from the ensuing judgment.
The appellate court affirmed the judgment. Under a natural reading of the CC&R’s (covenants, conditions and restrictions), the sewer pipe was a genuine common area to be maintained and repaired by the association, as distinct from “an exclusive use common area appurtenant” to an individual owner’s separate interest.