Insurance is not going to fix the leak. That is a maintenance issue. I think you should look at the master deed and bylaws to determine if it is his issue or the associations and not just take their word for it. The "damage" caused by the leak may in fact be covered by the associations insurance policy. I have no idea what state you are in but most bylaws require that associations policy to insure common elements, limited common elements, and units to the original builder grade specs. Review the documents. If you think the documents state this, then tell the board to file a claim. If they refuse, then ask for a certificate of insurance (they must provide you with it) and search the insurance carrier on the internet and file a claim yourself. If the association's insurance is obligated to cover your walls to builder specs, then you can not be refused in a claim.
That happened at our condo complex...the upper unit had no insurance and caused about $25,000 worth of damage. The Association president allowed the unit owner below to contact the Association insurance and they covered the repairs because our Declarations stated that the plumbing in the wall (and subsequent damage) is the responsibility of the Association. After the claim was filed and paid, the insurance company cancelled our insurance. We were able to obtain another policy, but at a much higher cost. That's probably why the Association doesn't want to get involved, but you should check your Declarations and find out who is responsible for what. In any event, if the Declarations call the plumbing in the walls, and the septic 'common or limited common areas' then they are responsible for repairing the plumbing or septic, but the Declarations should state whether associated damage is included. Since they knew about it and did nothing, perhaps you can find remedy from them as well. Unfortunately, unless you can file a claim with your own insurance for repairs, the only option you have is legal remedy. Yuk! Because of the problem we had in our complex (not our unit) we took out additional insurance to make sure we would be covered by our own insurance in the event the Association or another unit owner refused to pay. That way our place would be repaired, and the insurance company could sue (or not) to collect. So sorry this happened to you...the cons of condo living!
To clarify. Often what is your responsibility vs. the association's responsibility is very different then what the insurance requirements are. Often the unit owner is responsible from the studs in, yet the insurance is responsible to rebuild the unit back to builder specs (including cabinets, floor coverings, sheet rock, and paint). Read both sections.
I agree with Ron Hicks but would add-download copy of your State Condominium Act. You may find section(s) that refer to responsibility of owner for dsamsage originating withing the walls of his unit. You should also review your state law for information concerning the associations insurance requirements. You should also review your bylaws to find any requirement imposed on unit owner to have individuasl home owner insurance.
Florida did something nutty about this. Maybe someone who understands what the legislature did could explain it.
Thanks for all your comments. Sorry I didn't mention that I have been on my Board for 2.5 years now, and our association does not cover plumbing that is specific to one unit, only shared. After reading my comment, I may not have been very clear. The owner above was mandated to hire a professional to fix his leaks (shower, sink and toilet)instead of him because he was not experienced enough to fix them properly. These leaks were negligence on the owner's part. I refuse to use my insurance because it is his responsibility. He is not saying he won't pay, just that he thinks my bid is too high (even though I tried to go the middle road), and he thinks he can dictate who I get bids from. I say he legally cannot tell me who to use just because he has to pay. If we were going through his insurance company, they just say to get three bids. So my question was, does anyone know if he has a legal right (Colorado) to demand that I use his contractor of choice. Or do you have any suggestions as to where I can look for this information.
I am now getting two more bids for cost comparison as they requested, plus a separate one for mold remediation if when they demo they find mold. I will then mail him a long letter recapping all that has happened, with copies of the bids, the letters from HOA stating that it is his responsibility, and a deadline for payment, and the consequences if he fails to do so (file a lien on his property or small claims court), and send it certified return receipt. I have run this through a para-legal family member who is mentoring me on this part of the process, and she says I have a good case.
Thanks again. Deb
This is really amazing. You have insurance. Use it. The insurance company will subrogate if possible.
You're making a lot of problems for yourself.
In the meantime you are risking mold problems and doing without a decent bathroom. Get over it. Use your own insurance. Of course, if you didn't report the damage to them in a timely manner, they may decide not to pay. That's your fault, not your neighbor's. Don't worry about his stubborn refusal to do the right thing.
You can do the right thing and use your own insurance. Get this off your mind.
original owner mising, squatters nowliving in unit. Best method to
remove illegal trespassers.
I have a similar problem, the unit above me had a leak in the laundry and the association called me yesterday (I live abroad, live in my condo 3-4 month/year) and told me about it.
More than an inch water on the floor, furniture, ceiling and walls damaged. I had an insurence for a year when I bougth the condo almost 2 years ago, but forget to get a new one...
Stupid, yes I know.
My association has told me that the unit above, his insurance, will not pay for the damage. They told me I have to pay for the damage, or my insurance, if I had one.
Is this really true?
It sounds crazy?
My condo are in Pinellas county, Fl.
I welcome all comments...
To Knock James, your rude response is not helpful.
To Ronny Larsson. It is not your responsibility if the unit above created the water damage, whether or not you have insurance. I might add that since the HOA contact you to tell you that the water damage was caused by those who live above, you need to insist they put that in writing, i they do not, then you write them a letter recapping your conversation, along with a printout of the phone bill that confirms they did in fact contact you. This is your legal document. You need to look through your governing documents and your state laws.
To James Knock, there is a difference between straight talk and rudeness. Tact and understanding go a long way. I have seen your comments on other blogs where you were very rude and insensitive also.
D: OK, I'm going out to buy a pair of kid gloves. You win.
I personally would contact the hoa, tell them that it is a nuisance and you have a right to a peaceful unit. They must step forward and address the issue. I would also file a small claims suit if not addressed within 3 days. Against the hoa and homeowner above. Thats more than reasonable.
I had this exact same issue. But mine DID include MOLD. We had to remediate it. $16,000 later, the unit above us will not pay and their insurance company says they are not covered. This means a law suit. We live in Calif and the condo rules state the HOA is NOT responsible. There is no way to really "prove" that is was their fault because the leak was an older one that had been repaired long ago. Their AC (HVAC inside a closet) leaked and they replaced it. We never saw water inside our unit, only found the mold due to an inspection we did. HELP !!