Who pays for mold damage in condos?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

 

Mold is a common problem that results from water leaks or excessive humidity. And it does not just occur in older buildings. Modern buildings are sometimes built airtight and also encourage the spread of mold.

If you get mold in your single family, detached home, it’s your problem to clean it up.

But what if you live in a multifamily condominium or townhouse association? You pay good money every month so someone else can maintain the “envelope” of the building that surrounds your interior spaces.

You may think that if the roof or windows leak, and damages your walls, ceilings, and floor coverings, then your Condo Association should make the repairs and pay for them.

Think again. These three articles illustrate that clean up uo your condo might be end up dumped on you after all. Whether that’s legal or not is another question.

For example, if the bank-owned unit above your condo is not maintained, how can you convince the bank to pay for mold clean up? Attorneys suggest doing a mold test as the first step.

How do you sue the bank that owns a foreclosed condo for damages due to mold transfer through the walls to another unit?

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/how-do-you-sue-the-bank-that-owns-a-foreclosed-con-1588417.html

 

Attorney Ronald L. Perl of NY explains that the Association is not usually responsible for mold clean up unless the mold results from the Board’s negligence. This is not always easily determined or proven.

Mold Problem? Old Problem. An Attorney Explains What’s New in Dealing with It

http://www.habitatmag.com/Publication-Content/Board-Operations/2011/2011-November/Attorney-Advice-Condo-Mold#.VpXOjq88KrW

 

On the other hand, FL Attorney Herb M. Milgram explains in this blog that

“…Condo Association owes them a Non-Delegable Duty to maintain these Common Elements and they cannot shift the responsibility to a third party…”

Condo Mold & Water Damage: Who is Responsible?

http://www.floridacondoattorneys.com/condo-mold-water-damage-who-is-responsible/

 

Unfortunately, the basic concept of collective ownership, combined with individual ownership under the same roof, leads to considerable conflict in condominium associations. The Association wants individual owners to pay for as much of the repair and clean up as possible. But individual owners think that the assessments they pay regularly should be more than enough money to any necessary repairs and associated clean up.

Do you think this dispute over who should pay is resolvable?


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