HOA horror story: Man out hundreds of thousands of dollars after chimney issues lead to flooding

Chimney caps installed incorrectly at complex

SAN DIEGO - A La Jolla man is out hundreds of thousands of dollars after water damage occurred in his two condominiums. He blames the homeowners association for not installing the right chimney caps and taking months to fix the problem.

Dr. Kristoph Kuczkowski has lived in disarray for nearly two years. All of his items are on wooden pallets. His floors are ruined and the things he could save from water are piled in a bathtub. His mother's townhome, which is across from his, flooded as well.

"She spent like $85,000 using her retirement money and everything was damaged," said Kuczkowski.

The first flood occurred after it rained in April 2012.

Kuczkowski hired an expert who found the chimney caps in the complex had not been installed correctly and that they were put on by an unlicensed vendor.

"There have been multiple code violations inside the chimney," said Kuczkowski.

This started a two-year fight with the Woodlands North Homeowners Association to replace the 77 chimney caps on the property. The HOA is in charge of maintaining them and Kuczkowski could not repair the condos until they took action.

"The sources of water have to be addressed first," said his attorney Mary Goodhue Deutsch. 

There is also an issue with a sloping driveway that causes flooding in his garage.

"I've been dealing with the driveway longer than I've been dealing with the roof-related leaks," said Kuczkowski.

He has hired water mitigators, inspectors, mold companies and an attorney and could be out hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But it is not the money or even his condo that keeps him up at night. His mother put her life savings into her dream retirement condo and she passed away during all of this before she could even enjoy it.

"I just didn't think it would come to this," said Kuczkowski.

Code enforcement ordered the Woodlands North Homeowners Association to replace the chimney caps and they complied. Kuczkowski is still out all of that money from the flooding and is still dealing with the driveway issue.

Team 10 called and emailed the Woodlands North Homeowners Association and is still waiting for a comment.

Do you have a homeowners association horror story? Contact Team 10 Troubleshooter Cristin Severance at Cristin.Severance@10news.com or tweet her at @10newsseverance.

Print this article Back to Top