E.S. from Middlesex County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
The owner of the unit above mine installed defective sliding doors which leak into my unit like it is raining. I was told it was fixed but it is still happening. The condo association has said it is not responsible for the damage to my unit and it will not repair my unit. Also, the unit above mine is totally gutted with exposed wires. There is no sheetrock or ceiling installed. Can I sue the association as well as the owner? What recourse do I have?
Mister Condo replies:
E.S., that is a terrible situation you are describing. I am sorry for your loss and I hope that you have adequate homeowner’s insurance of your own which should also help protect you and cover your losses. Since your question was about your ability to sue, I consulted an attorney who specializes in community association law. Here’s the reply:
“A unit owner who changes the building in a way that damages another unit is probably liable to compensate for the damage, but whether the Association is also responsible would depend. The Board is generally not required to get involved in a dispute between two owners, or to pay one owner for another’s wrongdoing. But the Association may be obligated to repair damage to common elements (like the subflooring between your two units) and have the right to reimbursement of some or all of that expense from the upstairs owner for violating written maintenance standards. You would need to talk to a lawyer and provide him or her with more details to get a better idea of exactly what your legal rights are.”