Condo Ice Dam Caused Mold; Who Pays to Have it Removed?

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P.F. from Hartford County writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Who is responsible for mold remediation resulting from ice dams in between roof and ceilings inside my condo?

Mister Condo replies:

P.F., mold is no laughing matter to be sure. While you can argue who is responsible until you are blue in the face, the remediation should be taken care of at once before you or someone else living in your condo become ill. There are several schools of thought on who is responsible and who should pay. The reality is that you may need an attorney to enforce your rights.

If you haven’t already done so, document the mold damage as best as you can. I am talking photographs, expert opinions, the whole nine yards. Ask a mold remediation expert to come to your unit to explain the problem and their proposed solution. Send a copy of all of this information to your Board for immediate action at their next meeting. If they agree with you that the mold was a result of an ice dam their next step may be to speak with the association’s insurer to see if there is coverage. If so, the Board should arrange to have the mold remediated and the problem is solved.

Let’s assume it’s not that simple. The Board doesn’t agree with you or the insurer says it isn’t covered; now what? Most likely, you will hire an attorney and bring suit against the Board to have them pay for the remediation. Alternatively, if the remediation cost is minimal (under $1000) you might just want to go to Small Claims Court if the Board refuses to pay for the remediation. Keep in mind that any legal action you bring against the Board will cause the Board to hire its own attorney to defend. The unfortunate part of this transaction is that the association’s legal costs are partly yours through your common fees.

The bottom line is that you should not live with mold in your condo. Hopefully, you will notify your Board and they will fix the problem. If not, take matters into your own hands and get rid of the mold. Legal wrangling aside, mold can be toxic and lead to serious health problems and even death if left unchecked. Good luck!

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