D.S. from Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condo is built on a slab with all utilities underground. My unit has major cracks on slab floor. And all tile floor is cracking and having plumbing issues under slab. Are these common or limited common areas?
Mister Condo replies:
D.S., plumbing issues under a slab are no laughing matter. A cracking foundation that is causing decorative tiles to break is also a serious issue. Regardless of whether the element that is failing is common, limited common, or even owner responsibility, it is really time to get an engineer’s opinion of the damage, risk, and potential repair options before there is a complete failure and potentially catastrophic damage. Contact the Board and explain the problem. Based on their response, take whatever action necessary to protect yourself. If the Board refuses to get involved, consider hiring your own engineer for a qualified opinion and then speaking with an attorney if necessary to understand the legality of the situation. It would be impossible for me to render an opinion from what you have told me. Utilities may be owned by the utility company up until the point where they enter your building. The area inside your building may be your responsibility while the concrete slab may be the association’s responsibility. It really depends on how your governing documents are worded. Either way, work towards getting a remedy before this becomes a much more serious problem. All the best!