Condo - Leaking pipe in wall - Who is responsible.

Latest post Sun, Apr 16 2017 8:38 PM by karen2222. 250 replies.
  • Tue, Jan 12 2010 10:06 AM In reply to

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

    I have a question regarding what's considered proper maintenance. Since it's each unit owner's responsibility to properly maintain their own pipes, appliances and such within their unit, what would be considered improper maintenance?

    What I'm trying to get at is, just because I had one pipe leak, and I fix that individual leak but don't go and repipe the entire condo, would I be held liable if I get another leak somewhere else later on for not properly maintaining my pipes? 

  • Tue, Jan 12 2010 10:13 AM In reply to

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

    "I had a routine declogging/snaking from a plumber and the next morning awoke to find my downstairs neighbor's ceiling caved in"

    You file the claim with the insurance company that had the policy on the date when that event occurred.

    Doesn't complicate things at all.

    Claim reps are used to this sort of thing.

     

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Tue, Jan 12 2010 1:02 PM In reply to

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

    Thanks Jack! I will contact them asap.

  • Tue, Jan 12 2010 2:51 PM In reply to

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

    smilenstacy:
    What I'm trying to get at is, just because I had one pipe leak, and I fix that individual leak but don't go and repipe the entire condo, would I be held liable if I get another leak somewhere else later on for not properly maintaining my pipes?

    That's a tough question to answer because it depends on too many variables.

    Unfortunately, though, there is that possibility.

    My experience handling water damage claims is that, with older homes, the first leak is a harbinger of more leaks with old plumbing.

    However, if a second leak is unrelated to the first leak it's probably not going to be considered failure to maintain.

    But more leaks after that could be.

     

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Thu, Jan 14 2010 2:15 AM In reply to

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

    Jack,

    Just wanted to say that you give fabulous advice.  Spot on!

    P.S.  Your tag line is outstanding.

  • Tue, Mar 16 2010 2:41 PM In reply to

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

    i am in a similar situation. it was brought to my attention my washer and dryer was causing some leak on the unit below and even straight to the underground parking. There was no sign of leaking in my unit. But the unit below me has some damage to the walls and floors. the leak was confirmed by the plumber from my home warranty. There was a whole on a pipe inside the wall, near the floor.  

    Our CC&R states " Nothwithstanding anything contained in this declaration to the contrary, an Owner may, without obtaining the consent of the Board, install a washer and/or dryer in his dwelling. In connection with such installation, an owner shall be permitted to cause entry to be made into a wall within his dwelling to make the necessary connections for the washer and/or dryer. The owner shall be required to engage, a contractor duly licensed by the state of California to perform the installation.  Any damage caused to the common area by the installation shall be repaired at the expense of the owner."

    But I did not install the pipes inside the walls. i only attached the washer and dryer to the connections already installed.  Does this article makes me liable for the payment of the repairs. How about the damages to the unit below me?

    Thanks.

  • Wed, Jul 28 2010 11:50 AM In reply to

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

    My cc&rs do not use the term "exclusive use common area". Instead, my cc&rs use the term "easement". Does "exclusive easement appurtenant over the common area" mean the same thing as "exclusive use common area" in general?

    If so, can "exclusive easement appurtenant over common area" also refer to plumbing pipes that supply only one unit, just like "exclusive use common area" does?

    I don't know if such "exclusive easements" only refer to parking spaces and private patio yards that are only accessible from single units.

    Thank you in advance to any knowledgeable person who can shed some light on this matter.

  • Wed, Jul 28 2010 11:56 AM In reply to

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

    My cc&rs do not use the term "exclusive use common area". Instead, my cc&rs use the term "easement". Does "exclusive easement appurtenant over the common area" mean the same thing as "exclusive use common area" in general?

    If so, can "exclusive easement appurtenant over common area" also refer to plumbing pipes that supply only one unit, just like "exclusive use common area" does?

    I don't know if such "exclusive easements" only refer to parking spaces and private patio yards that are only accessible from single units.

    Thank you in advance to any knowledgeable person who can shed some light on this matter.

  • Wed, Jul 28 2010 1:32 PM In reply to

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

    janrey:

    My cc&rs do not use the term "exclusive use common area". Instead, my cc&rs use the term "easement". Does "exclusive easement appurtenant over the common area" mean the same thing as "exclusive use common area" in general?

    If so, can "exclusive easement appurtenant over common area" also refer to plumbing pipes that supply only one unit, just like "exclusive use common area" does?

    I don't know if such "exclusive easements" only refer to parking spaces and private patio yards that are only accessible from single units.

    You've taken one phrase so completely out of context as to make it meaningless and impossible to relate to anything else.

    If something specific is happening to you that you would like some help on, kindly provide the details.

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Wed, Jul 28 2010 9:00 PM In reply to

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

    I hope this is a little more clear. Thank you for your patience.

    I live on the first floor. There is a leak that caused damage to my bathroom ceiling. It is likey that the damage is caused by the drain in the tub in the unit above me. (The damage is in that area) My HOA told me they are not financially responsible for repairing my bathroom ceiling or the pipes above my unit.

    As I understand it, the leak is in the pipes or drain serving only my one upstairs neighbor. My cc&rs state that the HOA is responsible for maintenance of "exclusive easements appurtenant over the common area". However, the cc&rs  does not say anything about "exclusive use common area".  So, I am wondering if I can argue the HOA is responsible financially for repairing the ceiling and the leak?

    It makes no sense to me that I have to pay to have my upstairs' neighbor's drains/pipes repaired. If the HOA won't pay, shouldn't he have some financial responsibility since it is his drain or pipe that is leaking? I am a full-time mom, and our family is scraping by on one income. I can't afford to pay to fix my neighbor's plumbing issues. But if I don't, I will have my bathroom ceiling continue taking on leaks, and possibly collapse! (This danger I gathered from reading this blog).

    Thank you for any advice.

  • Wed, Jul 28 2010 9:42 PM In reply to

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

    janrey:

    I live on the first floor. There is a leak that caused damage to my bathroom ceiling. It is likey that the damage is caused by the drain in the tub in the unit above me. (The damage is in that area) My HOA told me they are not financially responsible for repairing my bathroom ceiling or the pipes above my unit.

    That could be true.

    janrey:

    As I understand it, the leak is in the pipes or drain serving only my one upstairs neighbor. My cc&rs state that the HOA is responsible for maintenance of "exclusive easements appurtenant over the common area". However, the cc&rs  does not say anything about "exclusive use common area".  So, I am wondering if I can argue the HOA is responsible financially for repairing the ceiling and the leak?

    You can argue it, but it won't get you anywhere.

    Now that I understand what happened I can tell you that what you are quoting is irrelevant.

    What you have to look for is the definition of unit and the definition of common area or common elements If the definition of unit includes plumbing and drain lines that service a unit, then the HOA has no responsibility for the repair of the upstairs pipes.

    janrey:
    It makes no sense to me that I have to pay to have my upstairs' neighbor's drains/pipes repaired. If the HOA won't pay, shouldn't he have some financial responsibility since it is his drain or pipe that is leaking?
    .

    Yes, he should fix his own drain pipe.

    But if you can't get him to fix it you'll have to fix it  out of self preservation and sue him for the cost.

    Have you put him on written notice that his pipes are leaking and damaging your ceiling? If you haven't, I suggest you do so ASAP and if a stain is showing on the ceiling attach a dated photo.

    Have you called your own insurance company to report the damage under your unitowners' policy?

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Mon, Jul 25 2011 12:49 AM In reply to

    • KFang
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    • CA
    • Posts 7

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

    I am trying to determine what is encompassed in the terms "unit" and"common area" as defined in my CC&R's, but as written, the definitions seem pretty vague.

    "Unit" shall mean the air space encompassed by the interior finished surfaces and walls, floors, ceilings, windows and doors and the like of each living area and balcony and garage parking space, all as more specifically described in the Plan, including patios.

    "Common Area" shall mean the entire Project, except those portions which lie within the bounderies of a Unit, as shown on the Plan, or otherwise restricted as to use, as set forth in this Declaration.

    "Plan" shall mean that certain Condominium Plan recorded with the Official Records of the County....

    I didn't receive the Plan when I purchased this condo.  Do I need to track down the Plan in order to determine what the HOA is responsible for in terms of pipes servicing the units or is it somehow evident in the passages written above?  If not, how can I get a hold of the Plan?

    Thanks in advance!

  • Mon, Jul 25 2011 1:07 AM In reply to

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

    KFang:

    I didn't receive the Plan when I purchased this condo.  Do I need to track down the Plan in order to determine what the HOA is responsible for in terms of pipes servicing the units or is it somehow evident in the passages written above?  If not, how can I get a hold of the Plan?

    The definitions of "unit" and "common area" were much more comprehensive in CC&Rs that I've read in the past so I'd have to say yes to getting the Plan before you can figure it out.

    Try your county recorder's website. Documents might be available online. If not, you'll have to go there and get copies made for yourself.

    Meantime, if you want to relate the details of what's happening to you, I'll give you whatever help that I can.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • Mon, Jul 25 2011 1:11 AM In reply to

    • MominCT
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 19 2009
    • CT
    • Posts 67

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

    The states have regulations as to what is considered condominium, and at least here in CT, I have never heard of a bank issuing a mortgage without a request to see the HOA financial statements and the CC&Rs.

    In the townhome unit I lived in many years ago, what the unit owner's owned was referred to as "paint to paint", anything else was common, even if it served a single unit.

     

    Now, if we oured bacon grease down the shower drain and tried to fix it with cornstarch, then we were just negligent. But if  a pipe burst that was below the floor level, the HOA fixed it.

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