Condominium Hornet’s Nest Damages Unit Owners Furnace

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P.C. from Outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

Can I ‘force’ my association to pay for half my furnace repair? Furnace stopped heating my unit, due to intake terminations installed incorrectly, AND a hornet’s nest, hard as a rock, in said pipes which stopped the air from ‘pushing through’.

Mister Condo replies:

P.C., I am sorry for your problems. Whether or not your association has any liability for your damaged furnace likely lies in your condo documents. Intake terminations installed properly is a construction defect. The question is who owns the terminations? If they are your responsibility and you own them, the association is likely not liable. If they are common elements owned by the association, then it may be argued that they have some responsibility. The hornet’s nest is another matter and may fall under an insured loss to either your homeowner’s policy or the association’s insurance if such losses are covered and if the property in question is owned by the association. The bottom line is that your furnace is likely your exclusive property and your responsibility. The hornet’s nest was not an intentional act by you or the association. That is what insurance is for so I would advise you to speak with your insurer about a claim against your homeowner’s insurance first. If it is not covered, you might look to your condo documents to see who owns the intake terminations. If the association owns the terminations, they have the responsibility to repair the terminations. That may end their responsibility. I hope this all works out for you. Good luck!

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