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Is condo association or owner responsible for water damage to unit?

Posted on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 @ 06:59 AM

I own a condo in a building in Chicago and we had a big rain storm and the building's storm drain was inadequate to handle the amount of water coming from the roof and the water has backed up into my second floor (none on the first floor) condo and my hardwood floors were destroyed. This is the second time this is happening within 3 years. First time the damage was $400 and I did not make much fuss nor did I make a claim with my insurance. I replaced cheap destroyed carpet with hardwood floor out of pocket. I did let the building know that is happened and that there is a problem with my unit being connected to the storm drain. However this time the damage is much bigger (estimates range from $4500 – $5500) and I am not paying myself this time. The Condo management company is being very hard to deal with and claim that this is typically unit owners responsibility. Who is responsible for the damage? My flood ins policy covers $2000 damage and have a deductible of $500. Do I have to pay $500 deductible + over $2500 that insurance won’t cover) or should this be paid by the association? Their master insurance covers common areas, and the exterior of my unit including drywall but not the flooring. However in the light that this is clearly not my fault, and that they had known about this problem 3 years ago and had not done anything to resolve it I believe the condo assoc should pay from their reserves fund. There is not point in me paying to fix this if I am going to get flooded next time major rain comes. Please advise

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In our condo if the water has entered from the outside the association is 100 per cent responsible. We recently had this happen at our condo and the condo property manager took over the entire drying, replacement of wall board and carpet.

posted @ Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:23 AM by bob gross

Read the condo documents. There is an insurance section that will tell the board what they must purchase and what it must cover. Often, I see the association must purchase insurance to rebuild the condo unit back to builder grade (carpeting not hardwood flooring). If you have documentation that the building had drainage issues and this was bought to the boards attention and no action was taken. You may have a liability case against the association for your damages. Often Condo buildings are built with residential rain gutters and they should have been built with larger commercial gutters.

posted @ Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:28 AM by Ronald Hicks

Our association carries what is referred to as an HO-6 insurance policy. The owner is responsible for the deductible but it is only $500 and if they have insurance that covers contents their insurance can kick in for the deductible. The HO-6 covers pretty much everything except personal property. The associations documents also state that damage caused from outside water is the responsibility of the association.

posted @ Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:48 AM by Leslie

I don't live in a condo so I cannot comment. However, I wanted to give my opinion regarding the manager's attitude in addressing this problem. The manager acts on the board's instructions; however, some manager's think they are the boss and will do as they please. I don't know how your board operates, but if the manager doesn't act as you think he/she should you should be dealing directly with the board.

posted @ Thursday, June 16, 2011 8:17 AM by mary

In addition to reviewing your association bylaws get and read a copt of the Illinois State Condominium Act. Between those two documents you should be able to establish responsibility for damage repair responsibility to your water damage.

posted @ Thursday, June 16, 2011 9:26 AM by Scott Adler

Had a similar problem and am in Illinois. The condo insurance covered all the damage - including my wood flooring. The association was responsible for the deductible required of the condo insurance. I paid nothing because none of it was caused by my individually owned portion; it was owned by the condo association. The responsibility falls on the responsible party.

posted @ Thursday, June 16, 2011 1:44 PM by c

I had notified the association months prior that the roof over my garage was leaking. They chose to ignore it. Once the big rains came my piano which was stored there was badly damaged. It is the associations responsibility to fix problems in a timely manner. They did not and were responsible for the damage.

posted @ Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:29 PM by Jackie

I am responding to Leslie...a condo association does not carry the HO-6..that is the unit owner's coverage form. The association carries the master policy which is a commercial policy, and covers the exterior of the building to include roofs, gutters, downspouts, common elements. The HO-6 covers the unit from the studs in and the unit owner's personal property and personal liability.

posted @ Friday, June 17, 2011 2:50 PM by Patti

I live in a condo building and since I have moved in (2009) I have been getting water damage during rain storms. I have documented each and every time it has occurred. I have repeatedly reported this to the front office/board. Initially they seemed helpful and explained that they were tuck-pointing my tier and the damage should be resolve after that. Well, in Oct. of 2010 another rain/snow storm revealed that the issue was not corrected. Again this past week, my unit was damaged in a storm, while attempting to correct the previous damage from last October. While the office continues to place blame on unit owners above me, my unit is still being damaged. I am convinced that this is a structural problem and the association is responsible. What is my best course of action at this point?

posted @ Thursday, June 23, 2011 12:18 PM by Jessica

Jessica, I am going thru the exact problem in my building. Maybe the same building haha. I have already pulled an insurance claim on my unit because of severe mold problems of where the rain water was coming in. The assication said they fixed in repeatedly by sealing windows above my unit and it hasnt stopped leaking into my condo. It has gotten to the point where I have called an attorney to handle the situation. This is due to a bylaw stating I cannot go after another condo owner for damages in my unit which I know the association will try to blame it on. What I want out of them is to have a professional company come out and find where the water is coming in throughout the entire building. There are several unit owners who have my issue as well. It frustrating because I feel like I dont have a voice or not taken seriously.

posted @ Thursday, August 11, 2011 1:54 PM by Chad

The drywall within any condo unit is covered by the association. Since the damage is not a result of neglect or intentional damage by any one owner the association is responsible to cover the damages/costs/repairs.

posted @ Wednesday, September 28, 2011 7:34 PM by Raffaella

In my helpless time, you give me help. Sincerely thank you!!!!! 

posted @ Wednesday, October 12, 2011 9:07 PM by gucci handbags outlet

Damage caused by water is sometimes very severe. And if damaged property is insured prior then it is a right of the client to have the complete claim. And for those who don't insure their house and faced a water damage must call some professional plumber immediately so that the effect of the damage can be minimized.

posted @ Tuesday, November 08, 2011 3:41 AM by Water Consultants

HI all,my concern and big question to all is,I live in a complex of small 13 units.I have a bad board from not long ago, a guy who moved not long ago above me started construction with no permits, started taking his floors out wals etc, banging everyday like crazy, noises all around ok it was understandable.This building is 80 yr old, so wall didnt hold and cracked a lot because of my new neighbor,since he had no insurance I did but my insurance didnt pay anytihing because they said its association resposibility and neighbors, my assosiction said its not their problem and now whos right?i was left off with craks on my walls, craked ceiling all over my living room and kitchen.Please help.

posted @ Monday, January 23, 2012 9:51 AM by carol

Same issue in my building with two basement units and water damage. I know they've replaced their floors at least once after flooding. They never came to agreeance with the HOA on estimates for the damage so they've never gotten any money. Now they just refuse to pay HOA fees ever. Pretty riduculous situation and the HOA is preparing to lean their properties.  
It seems like there should be some type of buyer beware in this siutation, especially with ground floor, below grade units. Did they not have an inspection? The floors had water damage when they moved in but they chose to ignore that and jump on the cheap price instead.

posted @ Wednesday, February 01, 2012 12:02 PM by JC

HELP sick from toxic dust in CONDO; 
subfloor/slab foundation w/ ducts crumbling making us all very sick, dust everywhere & docs are saying & EPA this is so very toxic; WHO IS RESPONSIBLE for faulty bad concrete work; EXPERTS SAY FOUNDATION DUCT WORK SHOULD BE SEALED & NEW DUCTS INSTALLED; SUBFLOOR DUCT WORK BLOWS & WE ARE COVERED IN TOXIC DUST EVERYDAY IS THE ASSOCIATION RESPONSIBLE? MANY BUILDING WITH SAME ISSUES & WORSE, PLEASE HELP US!

posted @ Wednesday, November 21, 2012 6:45 PM by ta

I own a condo in ocean city New Jersey. The condo was damaged by sandy. The association did not sand bag our front doors because a resident stayed . A mandatory evacuation was ordered.The water came thru the common front door. The front door was also reported damaged before the storm. My insurance only covers half of our estimates. What can I do?

posted @ Thursday, June 06, 2013 2:20 PM by David kenney

Unless you filed a formal complaint the first time, and therefore have proof that the HOA didn't do anything, you will probably have to pay for it. The drain problem will need to have been on file before this incident.

posted @ Monday, November 18, 2013 12:45 PM by Elisa Jed

What an interesting question. I have actually been wondering the same thing in regards to storm damage. Seems like it could be a little tricky. 

posted @ Wednesday, January 08, 2014 1:55 PM by Charles Neslon

Tribune 12 - 8 -2013 Article by Howard Dakoff.  
Lawsuit won due to rain water ingress. Anyone winning a suit, please post so others can use it as a means in court. For too long justice has been at such a high price. Share. And win! You will never feel wrong doing what is right!

posted @ Wednesday, January 29, 2014 3:32 PM by Linda

Sounds like they need to clean or replace their gutters. I would double check your bylaws and maybe local laws, but I think they should be responsible. You may want to get a contractor out to survey the damage and identify the cause of the problem in writing. If it turns out to be their responsibility make sure they cover your repairs and the cost of cleaning, fixing, and/or replacing the rain gutters and storm drains that are causing the problem. Good luck and I hope your home is repaired soon. http://www.mrgutternorva.com/Gutter-Repair-Burke-VA.html

posted @ Tuesday, June 24, 2014 11:00 AM by Julia Emmers

Typically in a condo, you are responsible for the PAINT inward. If the drywall needs to be replaced, that's on the association. So if its just a minor water stain that just needs to be painted... that probably on you (although most condo associations would probably just paint it in this situation). If the water leak damaged furniture, carpet, etc... that's on you. For more Details about this topic EPDM Roofers

posted @ Sunday, June 29, 2014 11:41 PM by ALVIN

Water damage can be the biggest nightmare to a home owner in the world. I remember one time we had a plumbing problem, and our basement filled up with about 2 inches of water. It completely ruined our carpet, and caused thousands of dollars worth of other damage. I'm really glad we got that taken care of. http://www.servprosoutheastmonroecounty.com/water-damage-restoration

posted @ Monday, June 30, 2014 5:24 PM by Edmond Vandergraff

I had a sewer back up in my condo, The management co. is taking care of the floors,walls but what about my personal property? My insurance Co said they wouldn't pay because it was nothing I did the management co said they aren't resposible either what do I do now? I have about 20 thousand in personal property damaged. Any help...Brookfield,CT

posted @ Monday, July 07, 2014 10:42 AM by Hank DeMarco

I agree-- it sounds the gutter guards are the problem, and that's the HOA's responsibility. If they try to dodge payment, a lawyer can help you out. They really need to fix the gutters for the future, or this will keep happening. Best of luck to you. 
Jenn | http://www.dqginc.com/leaf.html

posted @ Monday, July 07, 2014 3:16 PM by Jennifer Davies

It's experiences like this that make this industry difficult. The fact that water damage happened again only 3 years later just makes it all the worse. I wish there was a way to just complete damage proof everything. The upside is when you can get insurance to cover it new floors always look nice.  
Tim Johnson| http://www.charlotterestorationnc.com/?page=services

posted @ Friday, July 11, 2014 1:04 PM by Tim Johnson

The provisions of the condominium bylaws and the dictates of the Il;linois State condominium actg will fgive you the answer. But there is a groqwing trend that unscrupulous posters are really simply generating advertisements for their companies. This trend if it continues will slowly destroy the value of these blogs.

posted @ Friday, July 11, 2014 5:49 PM by Scott

It really depends on how the water damage was caused. If they go too long without cleaning their drains, and it ends up clogging and causing damage, then I think it should be the owner's responsibility. If there is a big storm, and the kitchen floods, then I think the association should pay for that. http://www.thedraindoctor.ca/draincleaning

posted @ Tuesday, July 15, 2014 2:21 PM by Talmage Dangerfield

It seems like a lot of these problems could be avoided with some simple maintenance. If the drains were cleaned and checked regularly, leaks like this would be caught before they could do such extensive damage. It just makes sense to keep up on it now. 
Jenn | http://www.rotorooterpa.com

posted @ Tuesday, July 22, 2014 3:48 PM by Jennifer Davies

I think that the association should be responsible for putting up eavestroughs, and making sure that the rain gutters are cleaned and working properly. If they do their part, then the water damage shouldn't be their liability. It rains so much here, and it is so important to make sure the water is draining off of the roof, and down to a drain to prevent water damage. http://www.kelkurwest.ca/en/services.html

posted @ Friday, July 25, 2014 12:17 PM by Emily Merrell

Water damage is a pain! I'm surprised by how much damage can happen. A tech will help revamp your items though. 

posted @ Monday, July 28, 2014 3:04 PM by Elias Rufus

I agree with Emily on this one, the association should make sure that the condo at least has rain gutters that work. They really prevent so many water problems, and help direct the water exactly where you want it. If they can't keep up with a simple repair like this, then they should be responsible for paying to repair the water damage. http://centuryraingutters.com/Repairing-your-raingutters.html

posted @ Tuesday, July 29, 2014 12:05 PM by Tony De Azevedo

It should vary depending on each situation. If there's a sign of negligent care, then they're liable. If it's through the walls, there may be no way for them to prepare for it. 

posted @ Friday, August 01, 2014 5:38 PM by Elias Rufus

I just got a condo and as I was looking around in it I noticed there is a bit of water damage. I'd like to get that repaired before I move in. I don't know if I'm supposed to work on it myself or if they will repair it. http://ddrestoration.com/services.nxg

posted @ Monday, August 04, 2014 9:46 AM by Jason Wright

Natural damage is always a hot topic, mainly because it was really nobody's fault, therefore nobody wants to pay for it. That can make it tricky to decide who actually should pay to fix it.  
Jim Tracy | http://www.fgsofcs.com/emergency-restoration/water-damage-restoration

posted @ Tuesday, August 05, 2014 3:11 PM by Jim Tracy

Roofs and rain gutters are usually the responsibility of the condo association or management company, not the unit owner. If you can show that the unit was flooded due to poor maintenance of the gutters and drains or that the drains were not properly installed, then the management company should not be able to argue. You may also want to find out when the last time the gutters were cleaned and make sure they are being cleaned at least 1-2 times per year. http://www.gut-r-dun.com/#!cleaning-and-maintenan/c24ib

posted @ Tuesday, August 12, 2014 4:03 PM by Julia

In my first house I went through a similar situation. I have learned a lot since then. One thing being, to prevent and eradicate blocked drains quickly. http://www.plumbersqld.com.au/1098/around-the-home.aspx

posted @ Tuesday, August 12, 2014 6:14 PM by Brittany Matthews

If the hardwood flooring was damaged by a leak the HOA should have repaired, then the flooring is also their fault. How badly is the wood warped? Are you going to replace all of it? I don't think there are a lot of options when it comes to wood flooring. You have to fix it either way. If they won't pay for it, you might have to get a lawyer involved. 
Jenn | http://www.betterflooring.com.au

posted @ Thursday, August 14, 2014 11:35 AM by Jennifer Davies

Water damage is a tricky and hot topic. No one really knows who should pay for it, so there should have been an agreement made in the lease. If not then you'll just have to try and come to an agreement somehow. http://www.fgsofcs.com/emergency-restoration/water-damage-restoration

posted @ Friday, September 05, 2014 12:26 PM by Jim Tracy

We've had water damage problems before. Just be glad it wasn't sewage backup. That is really nasty to have to clean up! 
Anita Mas | http://www.waltersenviro.com/drain-sewer-line-cleaning.html

posted @ Monday, September 08, 2014 9:23 AM by Anita Mas

We had a huge flood a couple of months ago that completely filled up our front room. There was about 4 inches of water everywhere, and it was almost impossible to clean out. I'm just glad that the condo association paid for the repairs, because it was a natural disaster. http://www.sw-restoration.com/water-removal/

posted @ Wednesday, September 10, 2014 4:52 PM by Talmage Dangerfield

I wonder if my condo insurance will pay for my cabinets that have been water damaged? I'm thinking that they will. I will have to look in to it more, and also keep my fingers crossed that I can save some money. http://www.sw-restoration.com/custom-cabinets/

posted @ Wednesday, September 10, 2014 8:02 PM by Emily Dye

I hope you documented everything about the water damage! It sounds like you might have a case to get them to pay for your flooring. We had a problem recently with water coming out of our ducts so we will definitely have to get those replaced soon. http://www.affordablegroupinc.net/Duct_Cleaning_Sarasota_FL.html

posted @ Thursday, September 11, 2014 11:13 PM by Angela Killpack

If you can prove the water damage wasn't from neglect I'm sure the HOA is supposed to pay for it. I think the blocked drains, depending on how they are hooked up, it's not all your fault. They shouldn't be too hard to get fixed. I would just notify your HOA. http://www.rjlplumbing.com.au

posted @ Friday, September 12, 2014 2:40 PM by Tom Stubbs

Different kinds of wood sustain different damage. Bamboo furniture can bounce back pretty quickly but some heavier stuff will never be the same. I hope everything works out! 

posted @ Wednesday, September 17, 2014 8:05 PM by Derrick Sly

I just bought a new condo and moved in over a month ago. I was talking to some people in the neighborhood and they told me that it'd be wise to get some flood insurance. I didn't listen, and my condo flooded last week during a rain storm. I also found out that the realtor knew about my location and said nothing about it. Now I'm looking to get some of this mess cleaned up.  

posted @ Thursday, September 18, 2014 5:12 PM by Caleb Hart

They really should have a regular schedule set up for maintenance and repair work. Flooring lasts far longer with constant effort. It's not so much the original quality as it is the upkeep.  
Jenn | http://www.floorcraft.net.au

posted @ Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:46 PM by Jennifer Davies

You would think that the association should be responsible for paying to fix water damage. We had a big storm a couple of weeks ago that flooded our whole basement. We had to get the carpet completely replaced. It was horrible. http://www.onsiterestorationtricities.com/emergency_water_removal_mold.html

posted @ Monday, September 22, 2014 4:28 PM by Tony De Azevedo

Usually this kind of possibility is heavily covered by detailed documentation. I'd suggest looking meticulously through your agreement and see if you can find anything specific. Sometime you can request a local lawyer to look into it. http://www.al-care.ca

posted @ Monday, September 22, 2014 7:47 PM by Radlie Hunter

We are building our own home. Its been pretty easy and fun to do as a family! But the floors have been a bit challenging. http://www.upchurchshardwood.net/services.html

posted @ Tuesday, September 23, 2014 10:55 PM by Emily Dye

I have water damage due to lack of gutters. Who's fault is that? I was unaware that there weren't any gutters on the back side. http://www.academysheetmetal.com.au/flashing-roofing-rainwater/gutters-fascia/

posted @ Wednesday, September 24, 2014 12:50 PM by Jim Tracy

It all really depends on the source. If it was in your space, it is yours. If it was in the HOA's responsibility area, it is theirs. This came from the rain so, feasibly, the water damage is theirs. Either way, make sure you get a professional. http://www.al-care.ca

posted @ Thursday, September 25, 2014 12:20 AM by Guy Miflin

I would imagine that the HOA would cover the damage if they were responsible for the home. We had some neighbors that their water lines broke but they were taken care of very quickly. We have a price rate but it comes with really good benefits. http://www.bcpsi.com

posted @ Thursday, September 25, 2014 10:20 PM by Lars Melger

Get that fixed as soon as possible. Your HOA will most likely cover it. Drain problems are not something to put off though. http://www.bestplumbertampafl.com

posted @ Friday, September 26, 2014 10:36 AM by James Harvon

This is a question I come across pretty often. The answer that I see most is that it depends on the condo association. Different ones will cover different costs. A lot also depends on the cause of the water damage. Depending on the seriousness of the damage, you may want to have a good restoration or at least carpet cleaning company in mind. I hope everything works out! http://www.ringstadcarpet.com/water-damage

posted @ Friday, October 10, 2014 8:13 PM by Tyrone Hill

Look and read this article..the homeowner association is liabile for all your problems...call the code inspector

posted @ Monday, October 13, 2014 7:48 AM by Laketha Stevenson

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