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What repairs is the condo association or HOA responsible for?

Posted on Thu, Oct 15, 2009 @ 10:40 PM

If the roof leaks and the condo association repairs the leak promptly after it is reported is the condo association responsible for the water damage to the ceiling?

If a condo unit owner's air conditioning leaks and the ceiling is water damaged is the condo association responsible for the repairs?

If a water pipe going to the toilet breaks and the unit is flooded is the condo association responsible for the damage?

If a unit is vacant for five years (They haven't paid the assesments during that time either which now total over 10K) with the power disconnected and the water line to the sink breaks and leaks into the unit for a long time before the lawn people notice water coming out the door.

Is the condo association responsible for the interior repairs?

Believe it or not all these things have happened to our condo association in the last few months. Is the condo association responsible for any of this damage?  Please advise ASAP



There are a lot of questions here. Most of the answers depend on what the association documents (in California, called CC&Rs) say. Usually in condos, the association is responsible for every area that is "common area" and pipes that are in the "common area" and that usually includes everything outside the surfaces of the floors, ceilings, and walls of the owner's "space" (unit. In such a case, the association would be responsible for repairs within the unit if it was negligent meaning it did not fix the common area when told of a leak or did not fix common area pipes when told about the leak. There are a lot of variables here and that is why I cannot give a more definitive answer.

posted @ Thursday, October 15, 2009 11:14 PM by Beth Grimm aka California Condo Guru

these are questions better answered by a licensed attorney in your state.

posted @ Friday, October 16, 2009 12:24 AM by k.brown

There are two policies involved. To get an accurate answere have the claims person fron the association policy and the claims person fron the unit owner read your documents, your policies and explain who covers what damage. There is no single answer

posted @ Friday, October 16, 2009 6:43 AM by Phillip Franco

If the roof leaks, water piping, and also for the water line it is the condo's responsiblity to pay for damage. Any damage that happens because of piping in the walls is usually the condo's problem. any thing that must be done with pipes you might want to make sure they use a licensed plumber and someone that knows the building piping. 
But it ... Read More is not the condo's responsiblity to pay for damage done by someone elses equipment like the air conditioning. The unit owner of that air conditioning is responsible or they can go to their home owners insurance.

posted @ Friday, October 16, 2009 12:11 PM by Margaret

Damage of the type described is generally covered by either the association's insurance policy or the unit owner's homeowner's policy. Neither policy will cover repairs at the origination point (the leaking roof, for example), only the resulting damage to the affected units. 
If the problem originates from a common element (the roof, pipes in the walls, whatever your governing docs specify as common elements) the association is responsible. If the problem originates from another unit, the unit owner is responsible. Claims should be filed accordingly. 
It can be very difficult to convince an owner to file a claim with their insurance company and take responsibility (as well as pay the required deductible). In Illinois, the association can file the claim through their insurance policy if the common elements are damaged (up to the drywall - which typically happens when there is water damage) and if the problem is found to originate from a unit, the amount of the deductible can be charged back to that owner. The amount is added to the owner's account and the association has whatever remedies are allowed by law to collect it. 
If the cost of the repairs is less than the deductible amount, the association is responsible for repairs for any damage originating from a common element. Owners are responsible for repairs for damage originating from their own unit (a leaking toilet, for example). Again, it may be easiest for the association to cover the expense and then charge it back to the responsible unit than for one owner to get another to pay for the repairs. 
File insurance claims for any major repairs originating from common elements (the roof, pipes in the walls). 
Take care of the repairs and if the problem is found to have originated from a unit, charged the expense (or the deductible) back to that unit. Water damage can cause serious mold problems and the association should be taking the necessary steps to prevent further damage to common elements and other units. 
Your association seems to need some help with acting on delinquent owners, as well. Failing to collect for five years is a breach of fiduciary duty. You should speak to an attorney about what can be done to remedy that.

posted @ Sunday, October 18, 2009 9:02 PM by Lauren Peddinghaus

I live in a beautiful condo on the lake but have had problems with flooding. It appears to come during a large rain and enters through the concrete slab--who is responsible for the repair to the slab so it won't happen in the future? If it continues, who is responsible for the clean up?

posted @ Friday, June 11, 2010 10:54 AM by Armetta Ford

I would like legal advice concerning a gross negligent brought on by my Condo. Association and Management Company. 
I purchased my condo in Sept. 2007 and at the time, I had an inspection done before I signed the papers to complete sale. 
At that time, my inspector had written out and emailed his findings which were satisfactory with the exception of the roof over my 2nd bedroom. 
I had informed the Condo. Association of the potential problem, incl. emailing the report and pictures taken my by inspector. I was informed that the problem would be rectified concerning the roof before imminent damage could occur.  
Fast forward to present, I noticed that my ceiling in my 2nd bedroom is caving in and there are prominent cracks that had appeared. 
I again notified my Condo. Association, incl. the Property Management Co. that we had at the time and was told that they would send someone out to access the situation. 
Someone did come out (a 3rd Party) retained by the previous Mmgt. Co. who came to look at my ceiling, but, not go to the roof to see if there was damage there. 
I was then contacted stating that I was responsible to any and all charges in fixing the damage since it was within my unit. 
I then contacted my Home inspector to come back out to reassess my ceiling, incl. the roof and his findings were astonishing. 
He discovered through his reading, pictures and experience that my severely cracked ceiling is the result of an improper roof installation and a patch-work job. 
I forwarded the newest report over to my Condo. Assoc. and their reply was not favorable. 
I would like any and all help with this matter and to hold the Association, incl. the Management Co. responsible for any and all expenses that is incurred upon me. 
Thank You for your time, 
Sheleda M. Groves

posted @ Monday, November 08, 2010 3:48 PM by Sheleda M. Groves

The unit owner's water heater broke and casued water damage and mold to their unit. The unit has been vacant there is a new water heater sitting in the unit waiting to be installed. They never contacted the association about the water heater. They called the association to come in and check out the Kitchen sink for a clog the plumber came in and fixed the clog. While there the owner told the maintenance man that the sink was causing the mold, however acording to the plumber that is not true, according to the plumber the sink never overflowed. Should the association be held responsible for replacing the sheetrock damaged by the mold due to the owners negligence?

posted @ Monday, February 28, 2011 2:16 PM by K Fox

I recently had a water pipe break on my patio. The break was below the shut off value so we had to turn the entire units water off for the repair. I called my HOA and they sent a plumber. The plumber stated that since it was below the shut off valve it would be HOA responsibility. A few months later I received a notice that they HOA wants me to pay the plumbing charges as they determined it was my responsibility. How can I verify if it is my responsibility or the HOA's?

posted @ Wednesday, April 06, 2011 3:01 PM by Teresa Condo

I am the President of a condo association and unit owner complains of mold underneath his linoleum in his bedroom. His insurance company say there is water intrusion underneath the ground, we checked with 2 other contractors and they say no water intrusion underneath the concrete slab but water is coming in from sprinklers and smal cracks in patio slab. slab needs caulking and minor windo caulking. Who is responsible for the mold repairs inside the unit? The unit owner or the association? We will fix the outer parts of the condo- slab, sprinklers etc. Isn't the unit owner's insurance company to pay for his mold reparation? 

posted @ Sunday, April 17, 2011 6:50 AM by george rivera

I have termites and my association is telling me that it is my responsibility to have someone come out and spray and I believe if they have sprayed around the foundation as they say they do that I wouldn't have this problem! From what I have red termites come from outside in and I feel it's there problem and not mine! PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

posted @ Tuesday, April 26, 2011 7:03 PM by Jenna Goddard

I live in a cond and my unit is falling backards and concreate is coming apart from the unit next to mine's. I want to know if i am responsible or is the HOA responsible for getting this fixed

posted @ Wednesday, August 22, 2012 9:13 PM by Della Lewis

HELP PLEASE! I reported a leak in the ceiling over a year ago. I am on the 6th floor and this is the top floor in this building. How long a wait for repair is beyond reasonable? I keep asking "when?" and keep getting reasons/excuses. The problem has gotten worse. Part of my ceiling is sagging,and moldy. I'm worried about one of the leaks above my TV shorting it out! It is too big for me to move, and there is no other place for it. I've had water damage to a cabinet top. What do I have to do to get my leaks fixed? 
Who's insurance should be billed if my TV does get shorted out, or a fire breaks out? -mine? or the Associations? Please give me advice. Thank you.

posted @ Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:41 PM by Valeen

I relly need a attoney to sue the condo association for negligence. I was doing some renovations to my apartment, when the zoneing and coding inspector came to see the 2 bathrooms and washer and dryer, water heater and A/C unit, they stated that all had to be updated to new coded laws, all pipes water valves and electrical wiring.Since I already had the contractor ,I went ahead and had everything done. So I sent the bill to the Associating in which they stated they will not pay for anthing cause nothing was broken? and I had to advised them of all these repairs?I have only requested what would be fair, the pipes were so old that one of them disinegrated in his hands.I wasn't asking for all of it, only what the contract states of all fixtures inside the walls.I live in FortLauderdale Florida and am ready to go to court if I have to. The renovations alone were almost 35,000. 
Thank You.

posted @ Monday, May 13, 2013 4:12 PM by sonia Prieto

From what I've experienced every HOA is different. I've had some landlords who've taken care of things like leaky fridges and dirty carpets quickly, while others take much longer. I've never dealt with problems with pluming in Calgary, but I would hope that the HOA would send over some plumbers quick if I needed them!

posted @ Tuesday, August 20, 2013 3:16 PM by Walter Henson

I live on the top floor of Florida condo. Twice, I have had leaking. My insurance claims it is caused by poor maintenance of the roof. The condo association will only repair to the drywall and leaves me responsible for inside repairs. 
Why are they not responsible if I pay my condo fees.

posted @ Monday, October 21, 2013 12:54 PM by Linda waldman

I bought a condo in 2007 and every time it rains it POURS water down on my deck like a waterfall. It's rotting my deck. Association said they went up there and the water diversion is worn out and it's my responsibility to fix it. It has done this from the very beginning I moved in and in the winter forms a huge pile of ice on the deck so I can't even get out my screen door. Aren't they responsible for fixing this?

posted @ Thursday, October 24, 2013 5:22 AM by Kathy Baker

I live in a second floor Condo In Florida and was going to have laminate floors installed in my Living Rm/Dining area. Unfortunately, when this condo was constructed in 1977 the floor is concrete slabs about 3-4 feet wide and the in between the slabs the concrete filling they poured in is crumbling so now my floor is wavy. I was told by the flooring contractor that in order for me to get a wood/laminate floor installed that the concrete needs to be fixed. Is it my responsibility or the HOA to do that repair to level my floor, because even if I install carpeting eventually that will show the wavy pattern? It's quite expensive to have the second floor concrete floor fixed

posted @ Sunday, November 10, 2013 9:26 AM by Mary

Anything that was damaged because of an owner's actions or by not taking action would usually fall on the owner. All other repairs should be taken care of by the association. Anyone needing home repair in Twin Falls, ID should check into http://cristandsonscontractors.com.

posted @ Wednesday, December 11, 2013 3:20 PM by Steve O'Neil

I have lived in a condo for almost ten years. Our supposed HOA receives $100.00 monthly in return for nothing. We have never had a meeting, our landscaping is terrible, he is only one person who has never requested a meeting. Whenever we don't pay his fee, he puts a lien on the property. It has been so horrible and such a horrible person to try to work with. What does someone like me do when you need help in a matter like this. Is there a board or comittee that can help me? Please let me know.

posted @ Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:48 AM by Debrah Utt

Steve: I am sorry are in this situation. In reading this blog I find advice list is: 1) Understand your documents (legally it is common to have at least one meeting) 2) Rally support in a positive way (see other blogs and share with neighbors 3) Weigh how many have similar visions as you do and get elected 4) consult a lawyer and if necessary send a letter under his advisement. And I would dig a bit deeper into understanding financials. Good luck!

posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:00 AM by Linda

Sorry feb 27 2014 9a was not for Steve. I'm new at this. I see it was posted by Debrah.

posted @ Thursday, February 27, 2014 9:02 AM by Linda

Elisa - Unit owners are not responsible for plumbing that is located outside of the boundaries of their unit unless it can be determined that they caused the damage by their actions or negligence (putting things down the toilet that don't belong, failing to heat a unit that results in frozen pipes).  
There is limited plumbing that exists within the walls of a unit. Owners would be responsible for those elements to the extent they can make the repairs without going into the walls.

posted @ Tuesday, March 04, 2014 9:50 AM by Lauren Peddinghaus

I was wondering that exact thing Lauren. We recently had some plumbing issues outside our apartment and were curious to whether we were responsible for the repairs. I now understand the difference between being responsible for negligence and natural problems. Now to go talk to our landlord about the repairs. 
George Puzo | http://www.blackforestplumbing.com/about.html

posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 7:41 PM by George Puzo

I live on a second floor of my condo, at the landing at the top stars the owner stats that the water has come in on there celling below the hoa or my ins want to pay for the damages. 
Please help

posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 1:40 PM by James

I live on the second floor condo there has been some rain to get in to the bottom condo from the landing who will will pay for the damage.is the landing the responsibility of the hoa

posted @ Wednesday, March 19, 2014 7:00 PM by James

James - Your association's governing documents and state law will dictate who is responsible for the various portions of the building. In Illinois, the association is generally responsible for any damage to the common elements up to the drywall in the units if the damage originates from the common elements. Wall coverings, floor coverings and fixtures are generally covered under the owner's insurance.  
If the damage originates from another unit, that owner may be responsible for the repair expense to both the common elements and the adjacent units. However, the association still has the obligation to ensure that the common elements are repaired. They can then charge the expense back to the responsible unit.  
Damage to a unit from another unit is something that is often mitigated through the owners' respective insurance policies. 
It's not clear to me where the landing is and how water is moving from there to the condo on the bottom floor. A landing to me implies an interior element of a stairway that exists outside the boundaries of a unit. If this is an exterior element, however, in Illinois it could be considered a Limited Common Element that serves a particular unit. If that is the case, the association would have the responsibility to make the repairs but the expense could be chargeable back to the unit owner that the LCE serves.

posted @ Thursday, March 20, 2014 9:33 AM by Lauren Peddinghaus

Who is responsible for the repairs to the 
backflow system in condos? There is a leak  
somewhere within the backflow system. 
Thank you.

posted @ Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:41 AM by Wayne A. Wiliams

My condo ceiling was leaking due to A/C issues from the two units above me. Used my home warranty to have a technician diagnose the problem. He advised to call HOA. Called HOA; took 4 inspections for them to tell me same thing my technicain told me. During 2 of those inspections they cut large holes into my ceiling. Outcome of HOA investigation they state it is a neighbor to neighbor issue, I have to fix, including the hole in my ceiling. Also, when built, the Condo's had construction defects. HOA took them to court, received a settlement. Issues with my A/C are listed as defects in the settlement. The Condo will not respond to my inquiries. I think they are responsible for fixing. I filed a claim with my insurance company but they do not know about the construction defects. I am afraid they will drop me or cancel my policy. What are your thoughts?

posted @ Tuesday, August 12, 2014 3:02 PM by Susan Edmonson

Our condo's slab has developed cracks and has lifted in the family room. As a result we now have doors that won't close and cracks have developed in several walls. Is the HOA responsible for the slab repair? I understand our insurance may be found responsible for repair to the drywall but would they be able to recover from the HOA's insurance do you think. It's reasonable to assume that the sale value of our condo has decreased significantly due to these issues.

posted @ Friday, August 15, 2014 7:47 AM by Elaine Meier

Depending on where you are located, you have companies who have flat rates for a job and then parts; and those who just charge an hourly rate and then parts. "busted" is not descript enough to help further. You might google AC not working and go down the check list. Good be anything from a blown fuse to a tiny pin hole leak and needing R22. Ask a neighbor for a referral. Good luck!

posted @ Wednesday, August 20, 2014 9:17 PM by Lloyd

My daughters owns a bottom corner unit in a 4 unit condo in Sugarwood in St. Peters, MO and her foundation is cracking and her patio is sinking. Who is responsible for that? What should she next step be? Her condo has been totally redone due to 2 major leaks from the condo above her due to leaks from the bathroom pipes and when the person moved out they left on water line from washer line and the association told her they were not responsible and refused to pay for anything. My daughters insurance paid causing her insurance rates to rise to no fault of her own. My daughter just had to replace her furnace unit due to the former damage from the leaks. Also the association is not keeping up the condo maintenance as it should be. The walk up to the condo is chipping away and they never replaced the rusted out hand rail that was removed years ago. Please advise.

posted @ Tuesday, August 26, 2014 9:52 AM by Denise

You can fix it. Go to small claims court. Call the city inspector. Get a lawyer to write a letter. If possible, take the hit and get out. Good luck and after years of fighting I've been left with little choice.

posted @ Tuesday, August 26, 2014 10:12 AM by Greg

Hannah....If you are renting you don't have to worry about who is paying. If there is any major issues the apartment management that would pay for the issues, but if you buy a condo then that is where you need to read the condo restrictions and covenants very carefully or even have someone else (maybe an attorney) review them before signing your final papers. If you find a condo you like and are going to make an offer on a condo I would state in your offer that the condo management or the condo owner has to provide you the restrictions and convenants in advance so you can have them reviewed in your offer. This way you know ahead of time if you should have a major issues who is going to pay. Take that into consideration if or when you make an offer. A major leak or foundation issues could cost you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

posted @ Wednesday, August 27, 2014 5:34 PM by Denise

Since so many contractors are now posting websites, perhaps there needs to be clear rules on this site. My emails have increased and it is due to silly statements with advertising.  
Maybe set up links by state or something a bit more -- or a bit less. I only wish they were lawyer links with winning court cases attached.

posted @ Thursday, September 11, 2014 6:54 AM by Audrey

I purchased a townhouse 2 months ago. Since moving in I foudn the downstairs bathroom ceiling was soft and I was able to poke my finger through and a large hole opened up. I found a badly corroded pipe galvanized. The HOA took on responsiblity and brought their plumber out. He replaced all my hot water lines but then said my cold are bad as well. He showed us more galvanzied pipes in the cold lines that are leaking. The HOA has been holding meetings for 4 weeks now about this. They have brought out two plumbers for estimates as they didn't trust the first one. NOw the issue is the plumber says my pipes are attached to my neighbors and her cold water pipes need to be replaced as well. Bigger problem she says it's not a good time. The HOA is just sitting on it now. My entire kitchen ceiling is removed my downstairs bathroom, my son's bedroom has a huge hole all along the shower, my laundry room. I'm asking my HOA can't they force my neighbor to fix her place. They are also talking about more plumber estimates and they just drag their feet. They say they have to wait for the next HOA meeting to discuss how to proceed. There are only 4 members on the board so I asked why they can't email each other. They all chat around the pool and building all the time. I'm getting so frustrated living with dust and exposed pipes and maybe even being exposed to asbestos or whatever may be exposed in the walls. My son and I are coughing all the time. Should I hire an attorney to push them along? Can we force the neighbor to agree to let them fix her place so mine can get fixed?

posted @ Saturday, November 01, 2014 2:39 PM by Laura

I can finally report my HOA replaced both my hot and cold water lines and had a dry wall company do a great job repairing the huge amount of holes the plumbers created. I have to say it took me sending an email stating my repairs were not getting done in a timely fashion after more than a month with my place all torn up. Bad news is the HOA President sent me a very nasty email that they will never respond or help me with anything again. Now I gotta live here. I sure won't be attending any of their HOA meetings anymore. I was really trying to be involved and take on some duties. It seems you have to push them to get things done but then live with the consequences.

posted @ Tuesday, December 02, 2014 10:49 PM by Laura

I had a leak in a copper pipe that was located 
in the cement floor. I called the Mgmt 
company and asked if this was the association 
or my responsibility to repair? When they got 
back to me, they said they were sending someone 
out. I assumed then it was their responsibility 
. Now I am getting a letter saying they will be 
sending the bill to me. I would assume if it  
was my responsibility, I should have been told 
that and could have hire my own plumber. 
Is there a Florida Condo Law that covers leak 
s in a slab-which would be considered original 
construction material?

posted @ Monday, December 08, 2014 5:02 PM by mary

Because of the age of my condo, the cement floor in my basement needed to be worked on, through a construction company. (AND THIS WORK HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FOUNDATION TO THE CONDO COMPLEX.) The condo board had the construction crew STOP their work! Since this isn't work on my condo foundation, and I'm paying the construction bill, I see no reason the condo board got involved! Am I right or wrong?

posted @ Monday, January 05, 2015 5:08 PM by Lynne

It sounds like several of those problems could have been avoided if the water had been turned off more promptly. If no one's living in the unit, then the water needs to be shut of as soon as possible. Otherwise you open yourself to problems like these, where the HOA ends up paying the damages. | http://www.pennyplumbing.com

posted @ Saturday, January 17, 2015 12:43 PM by marc fillion

I would think that they would be responsible for most repairs. As long as the damage was not cause by negligence of the tenate. I would recommend getting in touch with your association to see what services they are willing to provide. http://www.onehourairwestpasco.com

posted @ Friday, January 23, 2015 2:58 PM by kody

I would think that the HOA is responsible for all electrical and plumbing repairs. If you have a short in your electric wires, you're going to want to make sure that you get it fixed. It could be really dangerous to try to do it yourself, and you definitely shouldn't leave it without being repaired. The best thing to do would be to contact the HOA to get an electrician out to help you. http://www.ajcelectrical.com.au/domestic/

posted @ Saturday, January 24, 2015 11:12 AM by Tony De Azevedo

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