If there is a water heater leak adjacent to my condo, who is responsible for the cost of repairing damage to my unit?

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If there is a water heater leak adjacent to my condo, who is responsible for the cost of repairing damage to my unit?

I have mold and water damage from a leaking water heater. The water heater is outside adjacent to my building. There is water and mold damage in the water heater closet and interior damage to my floors and now in the garage. The CCRs state that the water heater is my personal property and I must maintain it. I have Building Property Protection Coverage through the homeowners policy which cover mold and water damage. The HOA insurance and my homeowners insurance say the other is financially responsible to pay the claim. My homeowners insurance says the HOA must pay for the wall damage

Asked on August 2, 2010 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

There is no general answer to a question like this; responsibility will depend on a number of factors, including the terms of property insurance (e.g. homeowners), HOA agreements, terms of deeds/title, etc. When no one wants to accept responsibility, you may take legal action to force someone to. You will probably not be able to untangle this yourself. You should consult with an attorney, bringing with you ALL relevant documents pertaining to the home and its purchase, the HOA, the insurance, and all correspondence. The attorney can review this for you, to help determine who *should* be responsible--then negotiate with that party or parties and, if necessary, commence legal action against them. Good luck.


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