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Condo building water damage, black mold - who's responsible for repairs?

Posted on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 @ 10:00 AM
  
  
  

I own condo in North Carolina. On June 13, we went for vacation and discovered water damage to a closet and bathroom ceiling. Upon further investigation black mold was found in our air conditioning area, laundry facilities, and kitchen these areas are all connected by walls. In my kitchen there is a cracking ceiling and bottom cabinets were warping. All areas are covered in mold. I contacted my condo association and their management company came out to view the next day. Their plumber said he fixed a leak from the above condo's air conditioning but would not comment on the other damage. The building manager for the association told me that they would be taking care of the repairs. After several attempts to contact and find out what is going on about repairs because I live in another state I was told on Friday the 9th that they were not doing any work per President of condo board of directors. I tried to contact her and received email stating she was meeting with the board on Monday and they would make a decision and soon as humanly possible. I have not heard from them yet. Who is responsible for repairs the unit above or the association? Any help would be appreciated and suggestion of who to approach next. My unit has sat for a month without repairs.

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See my posts on mold on this site.  
 
 
 
We still have the issues - but here was our tactic. 
 
 
 
First, the Board of Health informed me that they could do nothing and there are no Federal or State laws here that I could find to help us. 
 
 
 
So, we went a different route. The city building inspector came in and inspected and cited us for leaking water.  
 
 
 
The leaking water has been going on for many years, noone did anything about it. We had alot of black mold - had it tested and it's the really bad kind. Testing by a licensed professional didn't seem to matter to anyone, but it put the Board, Insurance Company, the Property Management company and all owners who had their heads buried intentionally - on notice. Sent it by email and certified to everyone.  
 
 
 
Second, I sent a demand letter that not only our locker, but all lockers be fixed, to include the drywall repair, the water be stopped and the mold remediated. 
 
 
 
The Demand Letter gave the Board 4 full months (after many years of our nice requests). That was 4 months ago. Three deck membranes have been replaced. Two of the lockers are still leaking and one new one. The Board is dragging their feet - a couple weeks ago they sent out a survey to see whose locker still leaked. They've now had 8 months to work on this. 
 
 
 
The key here - and the city inspector is aware of this and will work with us - is that they Board is saying they don't have to fix the drywall in the lockers which are limited common area. The rules and regs are new - we voted on them, but had no idea the Board would interpret them so loosely.  
 
 
 
They are not fixing the drywall. They've had monthly meetings and now we have it in writing from their minutes what their intent to date has been.  
 
 
 
To our advantage, the drywall that is ruined in these lockers is the code required "fireproof" drywall and the lockers MUST have it in them. Right now we are in violation of the city code. As soon as we get the minutes from the Board meeting this week and see what they say - if they are still saying no, we will then go back to the city and have them cite us again. Also we will let the insurance company know that we are in violation of the code - which as owners - we don't want to be. May raise rates, but will also get the work done finally. And really, the Board is to blame for arguing this ridiculous point with us.  
 
 
 
However, we found that several of the owners have stuff in their lockers and just don't care if it's got mold all over everything and they do. The cool air coming into our front vestibule reeks of mold today.  
 
 
 
I am not sure why noone else here thinks this is not important but it is.  
 
 
 
The readings from the inspectors report are true, accurate and real.  
 
 
 
This is a health issue to some.  
 
 
 
Once the couple owners who are just sitting around living the status quo need to sell or get sick from being in their lockers - we might just be able to get them to complain. But we have ours now dry and have removed the mold ourselves. Our drywall was only slightly damaged - others have no ceilings.  
 
 
 
The city is always willing to step in and cite the Association/Board. Also, alot of cities are passing the International Building code. Check to see if yours has. Makes things alot tougher to ignore. 
 
 
 
Please keep us posted so we can follow up in case you have an idea we didn't think of. Thanks so much.

posted @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010 12:47 PM by Maryann


You should read your prospectus and familurize yourself with your States Real Property Law. In New York, the homeowner owns from the sheetrock in. Therefore, any mold that is behind your sheetrock is located on property owned by the HOA. You should file a claim with your homeowners insurance so they can look at the damage. They will probably denie your claim because mold and rotting wood is not normally covered by homeowners insurance because mold and rotting wood is not a "current event". Mold is considered the result of defective construction. Take the denial letter to your Board of Directors and demand that the Board repair the damage. If they refuse, you may have to see an attorney who is familiar with Real Property Law or Condo Law. 
 
 
 
Good luck 
 
 
 
Marty Morris

posted @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010 3:09 PM by Marty Morris


I have a condo in Washington State with toxic mold. I got sick, my pet got sick, and we had to move out. I plan to seek damages from the builder and inspector, who created the problem and missed the problem, but wanted to know if anyone can tell me whether in Washington State the Condo Board/Association has any obligation to help with the expenses associated with this problem - I am not referring to repair, but to the cost of renting a different place and medical bills. Thank you for any insight.

posted @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010 3:09 PM by John


The issues with mold is that if you smell it the spores or seeds are now air borne, the AC duct work must be cleaned and anywhere the ac feeds may have the potential of developing mold related issues in the future. 
Also your breathing the mold, go to the site and review mold and related issues 
Paula

posted @ Sunday, July 18, 2010 9:28 AM by admin


Hi Paula, 
 
 
 
Isn't it a shame that we all know this about mold.  
 
 
 
Our condo Board is pretending it doesn't exist.  
 
 
 
I can't even imagine the damage it is doing. 
 
 
 
Without filing a lawsuit against the Board we have no idea what else to do. 
 
 
 
They just had a Board meeting and 8 months after our demand letter the best they can come up with is that the work intended to alleviate the leakage of water ....has resulted in a marked decrease in the overall problem but that seven lockers continue to leak. The same old same old waterproofing companing is coming back at another shot. Why not try a new company instead of giving the same one another shot at another wrong diagnosis. Except for the fact that we've become deep pockets for the cheapest vendors in town it appears. Even better, the cheaper the better to the past Boards. And they have only been asked to submit suggestions, not a bid for anything.  
 
 
 
Anyone who gets more results on the mold end, please keep us posted.  
 
 
 
As a realtor I am certaily held to a higher standard.

posted @ Sunday, July 18, 2010 10:02 AM by Maryann


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