S.M. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
This past winter a pipe burst in the unit above mine. Needless to say, I got the majority of the damage. Drywall of my entryway, part of my living room, and my daughter’s room were damaged. I took pictures and documented what I could. The association, had contractors to come out and put up new drywall but I purchased the paint and I repaired my wood floors. However, I lost a lot of items in the clean up. I ran out of money. I asked the Association if they would reimburse me since this is the 3rd time this has happened to me. Of course I was denied, what steps should I take next?
Mister Condo replies:
S.M., I am sorry for your misfortune. The fact that this has happened three times is equally unfortunate but it may have little effect on your final outcome. Burst pipes usually bring several insurances into play at condominium associations. Additionally, since I am not sure what state you are in or what additional protections may be offered to you under your state’s laws, my ultimate advice will involve you getting in touch with a locally qualified and knowledgeable attorney to assist you in any recovery of assets you may be eligible for.
As a rule, the association is only responsible for the damage to the common areas of the association. Your own homeowner’s insurance policy is meant to cover your individual belongings and help you mitigate your losses. If you do not have your own homeowner’s insurance, may I strongly suggest you purchase some for the next occurrence? If the association is unwilling to compensate you for damage that you can document came from the burst pipe that they failed to properly insulate or prevent from freezing and bursting, you may have a case for a claim. However, only a locally operating attorney would be able to give you a fair assessment of what your chance for success in suing for damages may bring. Good luck!