A.M. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We have melting ice that has caused water damage to our ceiling for three years in a row. The HOA sent a roofer who deemed it to be caused by ice damming. They will not fix our roof as they claim ice damming is not covered. They also will not fix our ceiling, which our condo insurance claims the HOA is responsible for. Our insurance paid us to repaint but we can’t until the roof is fixed and the Sheetrock is replaced. Where do we go from here?
Mister Condo replies:
A.M., in a word, you go to court. This is exactly what insurance is for. Mother Nature caused damage. The association’s insurance company says it won’t pay. Your insurance company says it won’t pay. You can’t touch the roof, as it is association owned property, which means they are likely responsible for the repair. Since their insurer won’t pay for the repair, the association says they won’t fix the roof. That may save them some money but that doesn’t release them from liability.
As you know, I am not an attorney so I cannot offer legal advice in this column. However, I can offer friendly advice and that advice is to speak with a qualified attorney who will likely instruct you to bring an action against the association for not repairing the roof. Everything under that roof may be your responsibility and, in particular, your personal insurer who seems to be working with you just fine. It is quite possible that the association didn’t have sufficient insurance coverage in place to cover the ice damming and resultant damage. That doesn’t relieve them from the responsibility for the repair or future liability. Pursue the legal remedy path and hope that they settle before it has to go to court. Ideally, they will repair the roof and purchase additional insurance for future incursions. Good luck!