Water Damage in a Condo: Association, or Homeowner Responsibility?
Water damage caused by leaks and floods is a typical issue in any condominium, and a source of trouble for landlords, tenants, and the homeowners association. Trying to figure out who is responsible for the damages caused by water in the midst of an unfortunate event can be as stressful as the disaster itself. If you caught in this dilemma, here are some insights.
Most of the controversy in any case of water damage arrives due to the nature of the Condo structure per se. Condos are usually multiples units very close in proximity that also happens to share common areas. These structural characteristics make it hard to decide who might be responsible in the presence of a water damage incident. It’s always wise to provide yourself with a copy of the HOA’s bylaws and policies.
This valuable information will give you the basics in case you are responsible for any repair. Furthermore, it will give you time to prepare ahead if you are found responsible for the damages occurred, meaning having come out of pocket if the obligations are not covered under your or the association’s insurance policy.
When dealing with damage caused by a casualty, look to Florida Statute 718.111(11)(f) to determine who is accountable. This statute entails a condominium insurance policy to cover all condo property within the unit including the walls, windows and windows treatments, electrical and appliances, water heaters and ceilings. In other words the association is responsible for damages pertaining the drywalls out and common areas. Unit owners are responsible for personal property within the unit, floor, and drywall finishes (paint/texture), electrical fixtures, appliances, waters heaters and water filters, built in cabinets, countertops, ceiling coverings, windows treatment including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware etc.
Another important issue to take into account is the fact that sometimes due to the unit proximity a leakage from one apartment ends up damaging various units within the property. If that would have been the issue here at stake, the problem needs to be addressed between unit owners. The faulty unit is responsible for the damages caused to the other units.