If a Condo unit has water damage in the ceiling (from tenants above), who is responsible to pay for the repairs? HOA, homeowner, or tenant upstairs?

Asked by Anna, 89135 Tue Aug 23, 2011

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Nathan Mcbride’s answer
Nathan Mcbri…, Home Buyer, Washington, PA
Mon Apr 21, 2014
I represent a company (Absolute Automation). We get a lot of calls regarding this exact situation in condo units. We’ve got a product available now called the FLOODSPOT. While it does NOT stop water leaks, it does alert people to them immediately via Email and Text Message(s). They’ve been extremely popular so far and pay for themselves if they help to prevent even just one major water leak.
0 votes
June Stark, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Anna - Hopefully you have your own condo insurance policy as we receommend that all our condo owner clients purchase one of their own. Allstate issues them at very reasonable annual costs . IF you do, I would suggest you contact your own insurance company and let them handle it. If not, you can contact your HOA and find out who the owner is of the property above yours, and contact them. If it is a tenant related issue, it is the owner's resposibility to handle it.

If you can get the tenant's info from the HOA, or feel comfortable knocking on their door, you also might want to both try to assess where the leak is coming from - in case it is an ongoing issue, such as water coming out from a shower and seeping under the tile or linoleum upstairs, or a refrigerator icemaker line leak.

You can also read the MASTER insurance policy from the HOA and see if it covers any of these types of issues - or ask for a copy of the policy and give it to your insurance agent so he can determine the actual MASTER HOA coverage - see if any costs should be covered by the HOA, and draft a proper supplemental policy for you.

Many condo buyers do not realize that the fire/hazard insurance in most MASTER policies covers rebuilding of the structure & common areas but does not cover the cost of rebuilding the interior: cabinets, plumbing, not to mention replacement costs of your personal belongings. That is why these supplemental owner's policies are so critical to have.

I hope this info helps.

June Stark
Elite Realty
702 376-5220
2 votes
Joan Lorberb…, Agent, Boca Raton, FL
Wed Aug 24, 2011
Hopefully you have insurance on your unit. It is up to your insurance company to recoup their loss from whomever is responsible for the leak - - be it the unit owner above or through some fault of the condo association.
1 vote
Krista Harri…, Agent, Bristol, CT
Wed Aug 24, 2011
I agree that you should check the lease. Usually everything is spelled out pretty well and will tell you who is responsible for what. As Steven said, I do not think that the HOA will cover inside damage. Usually they have insurance for outside & common areas and the homeowners are responsible for everything inside. I would look at the lease and then contact the person upstairs to see how you can fix the problem. Good luck!
1 vote
Steven Goldm…, Agent, Henderson, NV
Tue Aug 23, 2011
Great question,
I would contact the homeowner upstairs. Try to collect on his insurance. If that fails, collect on your own insurance. If that fails, fix it yourself. The HOA will not have insurance for your inside damage. Besides, if the HOA did pay, you are paying for it yourself as you are the HOA.

Work very quickly to prevent mold. Once that happens, it is a time to remove everything affected and rebuild inside. Many insurance policies will not pay for the mold redemption if you wait. Check your policy. Check you upstairs owner policy.

Get the water issue fixed and then figure out who is paying for it.

Remember that when you sell, if in Nevada, you must disclosed that there was water damage in the unit.

I hope that helps.

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I hope that helps.
1 vote
Matthew D'Er…, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Tue Aug 23, 2011
Anna, read your lease and it should spell out anything other then what is industry or lease standards. You "should" not have to pay for major repairs over ( x ) amount per lease. Owner/s or HOA may have insurance of some kind to address this. A reasonable person would not expect you to pay. Read lease, call owner and property management co. If you need a new rental or would like to buy a property some day please call me or my wife. Matt and Kim - 702.501.0973

Matthew D’Ercole
One Source Realty and Management
Cell - 702.501.0973
Website - http://matthewsellslasvegas.las.mlxchange.com
1 vote
Suzie Marqua…, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Tue Aug 23, 2011
I will agree with Laura. It depends on what caused the leak. Make sure it is addressed quickly so there are no mold issues. ThankYou for the question
1 vote
Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Tue Aug 23, 2011
Hello Anna,
The person responsible for paying for the water damage to the ceiling depends on how the leak was caused.
If the tenant upstairs was negligent and caused the leakage then it would be his responsibility.
If it is not caused by the tenant above then the HOA should have the repair work performed at their expense. It should not be the home owner with the damaged ceiling who pays.

Hope this helps.
Good luck!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
1 vote
David Cooper, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Sep 17, 2011
Did you ask the neighbors in the upstair unit "what happened". There is water damage on the ceiling right below your nunit. It should have been sked innediately, but do it now and see if they hsve some explanation. This could go along way to determining your next move

David Cooper Foreclosure Specialist at Sinve 1917 Realty, Las Vrgas 35 Years Investing Experience. Receive a FREE List of Low Priced, Bargain Homes in Good Areas with Great Cash Flow 10.0%+ CAP RATE. Go To http://www.lasvegaswinner.org or Call +1-702-499-7037
0 votes
Jeffery Sklar, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Sat Sep 17, 2011

It all depends on the CCRs. If it is a tub overflow, dishwasher leak, etc from the upstairs owner, it is their issue. If it is a broken pipe, it could be the HOA or the upstairs owner, or you. It depends on how the CCRs and other docs were written.

Jeffrey Sklar
Property Manager
Southern Nevada Property Management
8871 West Flamingo Road Suite 202
Las Vegas, NV 89147
0 votes
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