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Affan v. Portofino Cove Homeowners Association
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Affan v. Portofino Cove Homeowners Association

Affan v. Portofino Cove Homeowners Association (2010) 189 Cal.App.4th 930 In 1986, Akil and Cenan Affan purchased unit 107 in the Portofino Cove Condominiums as a vacation home. From 1999 to 2005, they faced recurring plumbing backups in their unit, discovering sewage residue in their kitchen sink or bathroom nine times during this period. After each incident, the Affans reported the problem to the property manager and at least one board member of the Portofino Cove Condominium Association (the Association), responsible for the complex. The Affans' unit, located on the first floor, shared vertical drain pipes with units above, leading to common plumbing issues. Two of their first-floor neighbors, who were also board members, experienced similar sewage problems. In April 2003, Cenan wrote a letter to the Association's board, expressing dissatisfaction and recommending annual maintenance for the drain lines. On April 21, 2005, when the kitchen sink backed up again, Akil contacted the property manager, Kevin Brown, employed by Huntington West Properties, the Association's managing agent since early 2004. Akil emphasized the chronic nature of the issue and requested a thorough investigation by a "master plumber." Around the same time, Huntington West began considering regular maintenance for the main drain lines to address the recurring problems more systematically. The board directed Brown to develop a scope of work for a maintenance contract and collect bids. Despite some earlier indications in meeting minutes from 2001, no evidence showed the actual contracting or maintenance work before May 2005. When Akil reported the 2005 backup to Brown, the property manager suggested Akil attend the Association board meeting, where it was revealed that the board had recently signed a five-year contract with Rescue Rooter for annual routine maintenance on the main plumbing lines. This marked a shift from the previous reactive approach to a proactive strategy in addressing the ongoing plumbing issues in the complex.