Condo Roof Failure Leads to Unit Damage: Who is Responsible for Repair?

L.A. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I know the association is responsible for fixing roof leaks, but who is responsible for the damage done to inside ceiling from the roof leak?

Mister Condo replies:

L.A., I am sorry that you have had damage from a roof leak to your condo. As annoying as the original leak is, it is often the clean-up and repair that create the lingering problem. Typically, condo associations require unit owners to maintain a homeowner’s insurance policy that is designed to protect the owner in case of damage, and the association in case of unintentional damage caused by a failed common element, in your case, the roof. If you have this insurance, you simply contact your insurer to make a claim and the insurer should pay for your repair, less any deductible as called for in your policy. However, when claims get denied or mishandled, it is possible that a lawsuit or mediation of some kind may be necessary. I hope you had the right insurance and that your claim was handled properly. If not, it may be time to speak with an attorney. Good luck!

3 thoughts on “Condo Roof Failure Leads to Unit Damage: Who is Responsible for Repair?

  1. The association has an insurable interest in all units. If a common area element (like the roof) fails and damages that insurable interest (such as a ceiling or walls), then the association is responsible for repairs. If an owner’s personal property is damaged, then the owner’s personal insurance should kick in.

    You can also file a claim with your personal insurance for the ceiling repair and, if necessary, they can subrogate the claim to the association’s insurance carrier.

    1. In my cousin’s case, the condo board and management refused to cooperate and repair the damage caused by the leaking roof. As it stands, the mold grew and this drags as my cousin’s insurance telling her that they cover only if the leak from the roof was only caused by major wind/fire or earth quake reason. Per her insurance company, the leak was due to negligence or proper maintenance by the association. The association claims that they are responsible to repair the roof – not her internal walls and subsequent mold on most of the wall. She is stuck and didn’t know what to do.
      She is extremely concerned about her health as the mold appears to be extremely worrisome (horrible scene). What can she do? what are her options? kindly help.
      Thank you.

      1. J., as you can see from this conversation thread, Boards don’t always do what they are supposed to do. Sometimes, it is out for a lack of knowledge, other times they are just trying to save money for the association. Either way, if your cousin is being denied her due, your only real option is to speak with an attorney. Board often respond when faced with the threat of lawsuit, especially if they know they are in the wrong. Good luck!

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