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By CondoAssociation.com • September 21, 2017

Who Pays for Condo Damage From Events Like Hurricanes And Tornadoes?

My Condo's Articles, Bylaws and Rules and Regulations state that outside windows, sliders and doors are considered to be part of units and therefore unit owners are responsible for their repair and replacement. Probably your Condo's documentation says the same, and it will be claimed by your Boards that unit owners are responsible for paying for damage caused by hurricanes and tornadoes or other outside less-likely events.
 
However, I wish to alert you, that this likely isn't the case as your State's statutes might very well overrule your Articles, Bylaws and your Rules and Regulations.
 
In the case of Maryland, according to an article with the title "Condominium Insurance Basics' dated January 22, 2014, by Raymond D. Burke - a well known and respected attorney in Maryland - with the title "Condominium Insurance Basics" dated January 22, 2014, this is what happens in Maryland.
 
Raymond Burke refers to amended Section 11-114 of the Maryland Condominium Act where it says "the Council of unit owners is required to maintain insurance  "(for property and casualty losses to the common elements and the units, exclusive of improvements installed in the units by unit owners other than the developer." Please note: This is "exclusive of improvements installed in the units by the unit owners other than the developer." 
 
And I believe it follows that if an outside event such as a hurricane, tornado or windstorm caused damage to a condo unit, the damage would be covered by the Association's Master Property Insurance policy beyond the insurance deductible, but the Association would be responsible for up to the amount of the insurance policy's deductible. This deductible might be $5,000 or even $10,000 that eventually gets shared out with all unit owners according to their percentage interests in the common property of the condo. It might even be through a Special Assessment that unit owners can insure against in their HO-6's at very little expense. It is highly recommended by Others than me. 
 
And the individual unit owner, wouldn't be responsible for paying anything - not even the deductible - except for his amount due as being a unit owner who has to pay as a share in common expenses.
 
Apparently, very important is the fact that a State-required Master Property Insurance policy of the Association doesn't cover "improvements installed in the units by unit owners other than the developer."
 
And I would think this whole thing might include damage to owners of units have been damaged by an outside event such as trees being blown over and damaging windows and doors that are identified in Articles, Bylaws, and Rules and Regulations as being part of units and therefore are the responsibility of unit owners. 
 
Unfortunately, If unit owners have replaced their windows and doors with much better ones, it appears the Association's Master Property Insurance policy wouldn't cover damage to replacements that are more expensive than the original ones installed by the developer.
 
Please note: I am not an attorney and do not profess to be one, and do not intend to offer legal advice. And I am hoping that this hard-learned information is of use to many Condo unit owners who might have suffered hurricane and tornado damage very recently.
 
 
 

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Please note that blog comments and postings are not legal advice, rather only the opinions of our readers.
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