M.J. from Washington State writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
The property manager and board of my condo hired a contractor to work on some joists and beams that were affecting our front room. When the contractor pulled up the carpet, pad, and sub floor to do the work, he damaged the carpet, pad, subfloor, and tile. Are my property manager and board responsible if the contractor or his insurance does not take care of the damages? I do not live in your area but I am trying to get some advice and hoping you can help.
Mister Condo replies:
M.J., I am hopeful that the contractor or his insurance will make good on the damages sustained to your unit during work performed by the association. Clearly, your Board had a responsibility to hire an insured and licensed professional to do the work of repairing the condominium floor joists. If, by chance, this contractor was not properly insured, you may have a bit of a sticky wicket to deal with. Your first line of attack is against the contractor and/or his insurance company. You may need to hire an attorney and you may need to sue. If that is the case, it is likely the attorney would advise you to sue the association as well. I hope it doesn’t come to that and you may be offered a settlement by one or more of the parties if it does. Hopefully, the repair to the joists was worth all of this hassle and inconvenience. It is just one of the occasional challenges of living in a community association where common elements that require maintenance travel from unit to unit. Good luck!