Condo Chimney Liner Improperly Installed; Who Pays for Repair?

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C.G. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

We had our chimney cleaned recently and the company that did it found that the prefab liner is constructed of an insulated metal chimney pipe, the metal chimney pipe was improperly connected to the fireplace unit and the HOA says is our responsibility to fix it. We asked the company that did the cleaning how could that happen? They said when they were installing it that the person that did it didn’t know what they were doing. Any thoughts? Help please.

Mister Condo replies:

C.G., improperly installed items such as your chimney pipe are a construction defect. The real question is who owns the element. If it is owned by the association, you may have a case for getting them to make the repair. If you own it, the repair may fall upon you. The other question, of course, is expense. If it isn’t terribly expensive, I would suggest you simply pay for the repair and get the problem solved. If it is terribly expensive, you may wish to track down the original builder and see if they will make good on the installation or you may need to sue them to make good on the installation. All of these solutions cost time and money. If the repair can be made for a few hundred dollars or so, I would advise you to just get it done and move on. All the best!

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