If a water pipe inside top condo unit burst fue to an earthquake causing damages to several units below, should I beforced to pay for interior repairs to others’ units?

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If a water pipe inside top condo unit burst fue to an earthquake causing damages to several units below, should I beforced to pay for interior repairs to others’ units?

I wasn’t affected. Shouldn’t owner of condo unit whose pipe broke be liable for damages? Condo Association raised condo fee for all to cover costs; it said insurance company for master policy won’t pay because the cause was earthquake. By-laws say owner is response for repairs to plumbing inside boundaries of units – and the pipe was definitely within unit. But also says damage from causes initially outside unit are under association responsibility. Another important detail: the pipe that broke was old, cracked PVC. Association is telling everyone now to replace their PVC pipes.

Asked on December 7, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In the situation that you have written about, if the actual cause of the damage to the property that you have written about was the eathquake and there was no negligence upon any other person's part for the resulting damages due to the burst pipe, no one is responsible for the damages from a liability standpoint.

The issue is whether or not there was insurance coverage for the damages which there seems to be no coverage. The cracked pipes seem to be the responsibility of the association to repair as a common area maintenance situation from what you have written.

I suggest that you retain an attorney experienced with HOA issues including repairs to read the recorded covenants, conditions and restrictions regarding the property you are writing about as well as HOA rules.


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