R.P. from Rockingham County, New Hampshire writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condo is a stand-alone house. We had minor leaking from rain that came thru the roof and stained our ceiling inside. The roof is 12 years old. They repaired the roof last week. Can I have them pay for painting our ceiling?
Mister Condo replies:
R.P., generally speaking, condo unit interiors are not included in association repairs. Seeing as your unit is actually a house, your rules might be different so be sure to check the definition of your unit. Typically, you own form the paint in so the inside of your ceiling is likely your responsibility. The repair may even be covered by your homeowner’s insurance should you wish to make a claim. My guess is you are on your own when it comes to painting the ceiling but do check your documents in case I am wrong. Good luck!
2 thoughts on “Condo Association Repairs Leaky Roof but Leaves Damaged Ceiling”
I am not a lawyer or Insurance professional, however, my understanding is that in Connecticut the association and it’s Master Policy are responsible for all insurable losses to a unit which would normally include interior damage to the ceiling. Yet, most such policies have a deductible of $5,000 or $10,000 chargeable to the unit, which, if insured, can be paid by the owner’s policy. In practice such cases usually are handled by the owner submitting a claim to their insurance company so the owner has more say in choosing the contractor etc. Yet, theoretically the association could do the repair and bill it back to the owner. Ultimately, in my understanding it is the association’s responsibility that it gets done and done well.
This may not be an insurable loss if the leak was caused by lack of maintenance or simply aging of the roof. Insurance usually will only cover the damage if the leak was caused by an “event” such as wind storm, hail, tree branch falling on roof, etc.
If this is not an insurable loss, the Association’s responsibility is to repair the common elements (shingles, flashing, etc.) and perhaps the ceiling sheetrock (if not part of the unit as defined in the Declaration). Usually the ceiling finish is part of the unit and the owner’s responsibility to repair. If it can be argued that the Association was negligent (was aware of a problem and took no action), then perhaps it should also pay for the paint. In my opinion, the cost of painting of the stained areas should be absorbed by the Association as it would be a very small part of the overall repair cost.