Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

Latest post Sun, Jan 8 2017 8:02 AM by karen2222. 248 replies.
  • Sat, Apr 11 2015 7:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Harmony77:

    An owner is responsible for water damage to adjoining residences which emanates from its residence including leaks and overflows of tubs showers, dishwashers, toilets . . . 

    Does this make me contractually liable to the unit owner below me?

    It does sound like that's the case, from the excerpt you provided.

  • Sat, May 9 2015 4:47 PM In reply to

    • Terry L
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    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    I've had the same problem as most.  Water leaked into the ceiling of the unit below mine.  The leak occurs when I take a shower.  Likely the pipe since the shower looks fine.  But I can't interpret the language in the deed as to whether the repair of a leaky pipe is the responsibility of the HOA or mine.  Could you interpret?

    "The common areas and facilities of the condominium comprise and consist of:  All conduits, ducts, pipes, plumbing, wiring, chimneys, flues, and other facilities ....located without the units and all such facilities located within any unit that serve parts of the condominium other than the unit within which such facilties are contained;"

    Next is "each unit shall have appurtenant thereto the exclusive rights and easements as limited common elements.. as follows: the heating,...plumbing, ..that serve only a single unit"

    Last:  "The boundries of the unit with respect to the floors, ceilings, and walls, doors... are as follows:  Floors:  The upper surface of the subflooring.  Ceilings:  The upper plane of the finished ceiling material (including wooden lath)

    Many thanks

  • Sun, May 10 2015 9:35 PM In reply to

    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Does it say anywhere who is responsible for maintenance and repair of limited common elements?

     

  • Mon, May 11 2015 7:17 AM In reply to

    • Tiffany599
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    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    I'm having the same problem. I own a 1st Level condo in Maryland (Four levels in building). Recently, I discover the AC pipe in my utility closet which is located outside on my proch was over flowing with water. This pipe is a community pipe, thats go up into the wall. I'm not sure how long this pipe has being over flowing, but the water has leaked into my bedroom that has caused damage to my hard wood floors, and there is black mold on the walls (all of the drywall need to be replace).

    The Condo manage sent a plummber out to repair the pipe, he stated the pipe had scale and slime build up. The manage and the HOA is trying to prolong this situation by not telling me who is resposnsible for the pipe and who is responsible for the repair cost (i.e. drywall and floors). I have request a copy of the HOA maintenance schedule, but they have not sent it.

    The Bylaws state; Maintenance by Owerns "All chutes, flues, duct, conduits, wires, water pipes, sewer pipes, sprinkle pipes and condensate lines or other apparatus whether or not installed within the Unit, but serving only that one Unit, including the inspection, cleaning or flushing of all such items at least once annually". This AC pipe is a community. Can you please tell me am I responsible for all repairs?

    Thank you.

  • Mon, May 11 2015 9:53 AM In reply to

    • Terry L
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    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    The trust outlines the responsibilities of owners and HOA.  There is no mention of "limited common elements" in this document only common areas.  This is language from the trust, previous post was language from the master deed.

    "The unit owners shall be individually responsible for the proper maintenance and repair of their respective units... except as otherwise specifically provided herein or in the Master Deed including without limitation, the maintenance repair, and replacement of ...plumbing and fixtures for water and other utilities...all wires, pipes, drains and conduits for water...that are contained in and exclusively serve each unit."

    Also:  "Maintenance, Repair and Replacement of Common Areas and Facilities.  The HOA shall be responsible for the proper maintenance, repair and replacement of the common areas and facilites of the condominium, excluding exclusive common areas and excluding the maintenance and repair of the exterior portions of the units, including roofs (and including the painting of the exterior of the units), all except as otherwise provided herein or in the Master Deed"

    I do not understand that paragraph at all, but it does not talk about limited common elements in the trust.

  • Mon, May 11 2015 5:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Terry L:
    Also:  "Maintenance, Repair and Replacement of Common Areas and Facilities.  The HOA shall be responsible for the proper maintenance, repair and replacement of the common areas and facilites of the condominium, excluding exclusive common areas

    I think these "exclusive common areas" are the "limited common areas" in the master deed.  It would be less confusing if the two documents had standardized on one or the other terminology, but I think this is the only reasonable way to interpret it.

    So if this wording is all there is, it seems you are responsible for the repairs to your plumbing, and your neighbors are responsible for the repairs to their ceilings etc. unless the damage was caused by your negligence.  Since you now know that taking a shower in this bathroom causes water damage to your neighbor's property, it would be negligent for you to use that shower before the leak has been fixed, and you'd be responsible to pay for any damage caused by your continued use of that shower.  But the water damage that occurred before you knew there was a problem would not be your responsibility to pay for, unless you did something like install your own pipes incompetently - or unless there is wording in your HOA documents that makes you responsible for damage to other units caused by failure of your pipes regardless why they failed.

    You are right that the last paragraph does not make it clear who is responsible for exterior maintenance, roof maintenance, or exterior painting.

    BTW, if you have unit-owner's insurance, you should dig out and read your policy and follow the instructions to properly inform your insurer of this situation.  There's a possibility you might be sued and have to claim under your liability protection.

  • Mon, May 11 2015 5:31 PM In reply to

    • Terry L
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    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Thank  you very much.  I read the deed:  "that are contained in and exclusively serve each unit" to mean things that are contained within the unit such as water pipes and drains under the sinks or radiators.  Are you thinking the statement leans more towards all pipes that exclusively used for a fixture in the unit?

    Thanks again, the language hard to understand to a lay person.

  • Mon, May 11 2015 9:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Terry L:
    I read the deed:  "that are contained in and exclusively serve each unit" to mean things that are contained within the unit such as water pipes and drains under the sinks or radiators.

    If the other wording describing the HOA's responsibilities (excluding the "exclusive common areas") had not been there, I'd be inclined to interpret this the same way you did.  But because it is there, "contained in and exclusively serve each unit" more likely means those that are contained in each unit AND those that exclusively serve each unit.  But definitely the writer of these documents could have benefited from more English composition classes in college :-)

    Terry L:
    Thanks again, the language hard to understand to a lay person.

    You should know that I'm not a lawyer.  A real estate lawyer with HOA expertise would have access to the caselaw that might shed light on how actual judges in your state have interpreted other HOA documents, some of which might be similar to yours.

  • Tue, May 12 2015 3:35 AM In reply to

    • Terry L
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    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    I agree, there seems to be both inconsistancy in the language and room for interpretation.  Neither belongs in a legal document IMHO.  You've been really helpful and much appreciate your reply.

    Thanks again.

  • Tue, May 12 2015 8:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Tiffany599:
    Recently, I discover the AC pipe in my utility closet which is located outside on my proch was over flowing with water.

    I'm having a hard time understanding your situation.  Is there an air conditioner that serves only your condo, or do you share one air conditioner with other units?  If you have your own AC unit, is the "AC pipe" (condensate drain, I assume) that is overflowing connected to your AC unit?  Is the overflowing water coming out the bottom of the pipe where it ends, as it's supposed to, or is it coming from a pipe fitting or other location where it is not intended to come out of the pipe (i.e. is it flowing along the outside of the pipe instead of the inside)?  If it does not connect to your AC unit, are there other similar pipes going to your utility closet (i.e. one for each upstairs neighbor)?  If the water is coming through the pipe down to where the pipe ends, is there a pan in your utility closet to catch that water?  Is there a drain in the floor of the closet to let that water drain out, and if so, was it blocked or clogged?

  • Sun, Jun 14 2015 11:21 AM In reply to

    • ellemac
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    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    We own a condo on the 2nd floor of a 3 story bldg. There is now water leaking from the cement ceiling in the utility room which houses the furnace and a/c. It's leaking onto/into my gas furnace, the wall inside the utiitily room and wherever else it splashes. It seems that the upstairs condensate line may be the culprit. I've contacted the renter upstairs and she sees no leak (but wouldn't necessarily with a clogged line) and claims to be trying to contact her landlord but getting no response. She refuses to turn off the a/c to stop the leak, saying she has diabetes.

    Meanwhile, just 4 days ago we had a new furnace/ac system installed and I'm so upset watching water drip all over my new $5000 system. I called the HVAC company I used plus 2 others to triple check that there's no way it could be something to do with this install, since it's so coincidental with the timing. They say no, water doesn't drip upwards. The HOA is useless (1/3 of owners aren't paying condo fees due to some oops in the by-laws where they can't force them to pay). It's the weekend so can't reach the property manager who is also relatively useless (took 4 phone calls over 3 months to get the light bulb changed out front!). I called the county info line and they transferred me to the fire dept. who will come out and assess the fire hazard with the dripping onto electrical equipment, go upstairs and try to talk her into turning off the a/c and they have "resources" to try to contact her landlord. This seems dramatic but I don't know.

    Am I right that the renter upstairs needs to try to mitigate damages by turning off her a/c? It's 90 degress out and I get that she has a medical condition, but this is no different than if her bathtub was overflowing and she refused to turn off the water.  Will the owner ultimately be responsible for any damages to my equipment, or the renter since she could have taken action to stop it? What do we do if the landlord won't respond? Pay a contractor to fix his problem then bill him or take him to court for repayment? Or go the fire dept. route for now?

  • Wed, Dec 9 2015 1:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Hi Ellenmac,

     

    I just read your ost, almost exactly like mine. Been going on now for two years and my home is unhabitable and I have been very sick. Sure would love to talk to yu or hear back and exchange notes. Sandra .lynch@cox.net 

    949 305 5015

  • Mon, Oct 31 2016 10:34 AM In reply to

    • Shail
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    • Posts 1

    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Hi There,

    In July 2016 I had a Ceiling Leakage issue, which seeped into my below neighbours apartment...I quickly got my contractor to come & fix it....I was told its because of wear & tear...the water proofing is not as strong due to wear & tear. In August, the ceiling leakage issue occured again which was seen in the other room (below unit), which again was fixed by me.

    But the ceiling leakage issue has occured again in October & this time the contractor has told me that the Concealed Pipes supplying water to my master bathroom has rusted & is the cause of the leak and the concealed pipes can't be repaired. The solution provided by the contractor was to have external pipes instead of the Concealed pipes, which I don't quite agree.

    The question i've is who is responsible to bear the cost of fixing the Concealed Pipes? As a owner I'm in no position to know when things start to rust or corrode as they are internal concealed pipes and in no position to maintain them as well. Shouldn't the cost of fixing the concealed pipes be borne by the MCST Management?

    Appreciate any advice/guidance on this matter.

    Thanks

    Shail

     

  • Mon, Oct 31 2016 1:36 PM In reply to

    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Hi, I googled "MCST Management," and this isn't anything that exists in the U.S.A.

    Are you Canadian, and did you mean to post on a Canadian forum?  This forum is about U.S. law, and nobody who posts here knows much about the laws of other countries.

    That said, if your community has governing documents that you agreed to be bound by when you bought your unit, I'd think your first step should be a careful read of those governing documents to see how they define your unit and what they say about who is responsible for maintaining those pipes.

    BTW, just curious:  are these concealed pipes embedded in concrete or only located where ceilings or floors have to be opened up to get access?  If the latter, they CAN be repaired.

     

  • Mon, Oct 31 2016 7:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

    Might not be Canada either.

    The only MCST Management I came up with is in Singapore and it has to do with real estate.

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