T.J. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Mister Condo replies:
T.J., seems I am getting a lot of questions about upstairs neighbors flooding downstairs units this week. Must be a trend and a soggy one at that! The Board can require that each unit owner maintain adequate homeowner’s insurance (HO-6 here in Connecticut). They can further require that the policy include a provision for damage to neighboring units and that unit owners will be held responsible for subsequent damage caused by inadequately maintained items within the unit. This is called maintenance standards and they can and should publish a list of all of the items that are likely to fail within a unit such as water heaters, water supply lines to washing machines and toilets, pipes that can freeze and burst, and more. As a unit owner, you want your HO-6 policy to cover these things in the event they do fail. Also, if you don’t properly maintain these items, insurers are very likely to deny your claim, leaving you and your downstairs neighbor with water-damaged units and you footing the bill for the repairs. Yikes!
My advice is to work closely with your insurance professional to purchase the correct policy and coverage that not only protects you but also satisfies the requirements of your association as spelled out by the Board and your condo docs. All the best!