Condo damage from roof leaks--who's responsible for repairs?

nikwatersJune 25, 2006

This is not a repairs question per se, as I am pretty sure what needs to be done. Just thought I'd check to see if any of you have been in this situation, as we are getting the run-around from our property manager. We recently bought a condo that got a good inspection. Soon after purchase, though, while ripping out shelves in the basement and old carpet in the master bedroom, we discovered tons of mold, mushrooms, and rot from both new and old basement and roof leaks. (Both hidden by furniture and carpet during inspection.) The leaks were caused by the association failing to properly maintain the exterior. We do not have it in our budget to make these costly repairs on our own, so we are seeking recompense from those responsible. In our experience, the association should chip in--but this one claims condo associations are not responsible for anything in the interior, despite damage being caused by their negligence in exterior maintenance. So do any of you know, who's responsible for cost of repairs in this case: association, previous owner, or current owner? We want to avoid law suits if possible, but will go that route if we can find the $$ to engage a lawyer--the mold is making us sick and we are having to sleep in the office downstairs since our bedroom is unlivable!

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highknitter

1 carefully review bylaws you received either at closing or when you put prop 'under contract'. there should be a section labeled " insurance" that spells out what the master policy covers and what the unitowner policy covers. each unit owner pays for both policies (ultimately) - so be sure you have the correct type of policy and the property limits and endorsements on your individual policy.
2 does your assoc have a prof mgt co or does the board of directions manage? once you know who manages you'll know who to speak w/
3 if you have mold and mushrooms, the leak(s) probably went on for a long time; long term leaks are typically not covered under a homeowners/condo policy--- so even if the association made an insurance claim they may not get $ to pay; perhaps they owe for the repairs from their savings/contingengy funds
4 the more I type & think, the more I see you needing an attorney; be sure you hire an attorney who has some knowledge of condo associations and unitowners

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 11:56PM
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minibim

I agree, you are going to need a lawyer, if nothing else to be able to send some documented letters. At this point I would talk to no one else on the condo board and do everything in writing.

The condo is responsible, which is still ultimately you, whether they would assess everyone or make an insurance claim. Maybe you want to talk to some neighbors and see if anyone else has a problem and they don't realize it.

The damage was caused by an exterior problem, had the damaged been caused by say your toilet overflowing, you'd be responsible.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2006 at 4:49PM
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pjb999

You must live in Vancouver, or perhaps another part of BC, famous home of leaky condos.

I agree, legal advice is paramount and don't take any further action or speak to anyone else about it, as if you say/do the wrong thing, it can mess things up.

I'm sure you'll get it sorted out :)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2006 at 3:44AM
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pjb999

I had a further thought on this, depending where you are, there may have been an obligation on the vendor or strata's part to declare issues such as these - you may have some legal recourse.

The lawyer you used when you did your conveyancing might have been supposed to uncover discussion of issues such as this in the strata's records, assuming there had been such discussions.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 11:36AM
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