Who is responsible for damage (drywall, paint, carpet) caused to individual units by a leak in the water system outside the units?

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Who is responsible for damage (drywall, paint, carpet) caused to individual units by a leak in the water system outside the units?

After several units complained, the property manager sent e-mail stating: ” a leaking plumbing expansion joint was discovered”.But she also wrote that the association is responsible for wall repair and priming, but not for painting. Sha also said that the association was not responsible for flooring.Does the law not consider the association responsible for ANY damage caused by a malfunction in the common area? Note that the association recognized its responsibility in the original problem.

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Illinois

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The answer to this is going to depend on the detailed facts of what happened, and on some of the "fine print" in your association documents.  You need to get all of this to a good real estate attorney in your area.  One place to find qualified lawyers is our website, http://attorneypages.com

Sometimes, it takes a lawsuit to force a homeowners' association to do the right thing -- and sometimes, it takes that lawsuit to determine just what "the right thing" actually is.  But I think your case is well worth looking into, because it does seem that the association should be able to avoid responsibility for damages caused entirely by a common area problem.


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