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Who is responsible for water damage in a condominium unit?

On Behalf of | Dec 10, 2023 | Condominium & Community Association Law

Purchasing a condominium can be a very smart move. Busy professionals, older adults and other individuals who do not have the time to do extensive property maintenance may find that condos are an ideal housing solution. They enjoy the financial stability that comes from accruing home equity without the total responsibility for maintenance and repairs to their house. They make monthly contributions via fees paid to the condominium association where they live. Those costs help maintain the shared spaces that all owners in the association utilize.

Condo owners typically have to take care of the interior of their own units and have total control over the aesthetics inside their space. When there are major repairs needed, the location and nature of those repairs determine who is responsible. Who would typically pay for water damage to a condominium?

Water damage can be a challenge to address

There are many ways that water damage could affect a condominium. Perhaps the neighbor upstairs in a multi-story building left a sink running and caused a flood. The water then caused a ceiling to come down inside someone’s condo. There might also be plumbing that goes bad unexpectedly and springs a leak.

If the water damage is from the pipes inside the walls or a neighbor’s unit, then a condo owner could reasonably expect others to handle those repairs. Water damage caused by a neighbor may be their responsibility, which means their homeowner’s insurance would cover some of the expenses. If the pipes in the building have issues that cause water damage, that could make the condominium association responsible for those repairs.

If the water damage occurs because a condo owner fails to properly maintain their own unit, then they may have to cover those costs themselves. The more someone knows about the location and cause of the water incursion that caused the damage, the easier it will be for them to determine who is legally and financially responsible. It can be difficult to compel either neighbors or the local condominium association to cover repair costs after a water damage incident.

Ultimately, learning more about the rules that apply in such cases, and seeking legal guidance accordingly, may help people secure appropriate compensation for damage to their homes whenever possible.