A.L. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
About 2 years ago, we had a major rain storm in which the water from the roofs of the 3 connected units drained from their gutters down to where our limited common area is, which is our patio in the back of our unit. As we are the lowest elevated Unit of this set of units, the result of the water flowing to our patio not only compromised the structures of our back doors/windows, but also the foundation of the Unit, as the water seeped into our unit from the foundation below and went through our tiles. There are still significant water damage marks along all edges of the stone tiles (corrosion), which became visible shortly after the incident. The Management Company denied any damage and The Association’s Board of Directors did nothing to help us, or repair/restore the damage. The only thing they did was to create a tunnel system to redirect the flow of water from the gutters of the other units’, and we haven’t had a water seepage issue of the same magnitude since. However, the humidity has been an issue since the foundation we suspect has been compromised, and maybe contributing to serious mold, rust, and health issues. Who is responsible and liable for such damages and resulting damages? (Keeping in mind The Association’s BOD’s and The Management Company’s fiduciary duties and responsibilities, and negligence? They have also been denying and misleading and even misrepresenting/lying about what they are to do, which is contradictory to the By-Laws? Wouldn’t provide us copies of the master insurance policy and they’re seemingly redirecting and delaying us to get us past our rights within the statutes of limitations. It seems our HO-6 company wants them to be responsible, and want to waive their rights to subrogation. The statutes of limitations are 2 & 3 years applicable to each entity (The Management Company versus The Association BOD) correct?
Please advise Mr. Condo!
Mister Condo replies:
V.B., I am not an attorney nor am I an expert in Maryland community association law. It would appear to me that since this is an ongoing saga, it may be time that you brought all of the parties together to hammer out a solution that is in everyone’s best interests. The initial damage is done. The ongoing damage continues and unaddressed items such as mold remediation and structural damage may be unresolved. Liability is the key item here and no one seems to be stepping up to claim ownership of the problem. In those cases, it is not unusual for the unit owner to bring suit against the association. It is possible that your homeowner’s insurance company may also want to sue the association (or the association’s insurer) for contributing to the claims that they have had to pay already. This is work that is best left to attorneys and that is my recommendation to you. Hire an attorney that will look out for your best interests and see if you can’t get these problems solved. Good luck!