Re: Financial reponsiblity for water leaks
From: R Philip Dowds (rpdowdscomcast.net)
Date: Sat, 25 Jan 2014 08:05:33 -0800 (PST)
At urban Cornerstone, we have some condo (apartment) buildings, and some 
side-by-side townhouses.  We also have a high water table and occasional (minor 
thus far) basement flooding in the common basement of the common house.  Leaks 
into the common basement, and water damage to common construction, is our 
common problem, but each household stores personal property in the common 
basement at its own risk.  So far, so good.

The townhouses have private, segregated basements … and one might imagine that 
leaks into those private areas are the problem of the household.  But wait, not 
so fast.  At Cornerstone, the exterior roofing and siding belong to, and are 
maintained by, the community as a whole; it makes no difference whether the 
roof and walls protect a common area, an apartment, or a townhouse.  So if 
water penetrates a private basement, and ruins the knotty pine paneling … who 
owns the problem?  Does our Association own the concrete foundation as well as 
roofing and siding?  I don’t know, because (a) the master deed and bylaws are 
silent on this matter, and (b) we’ve never had a test case.

R Philip Dowds
Cornerstone Village Cohousing
Cambridge, MA

On Jan 25, 2014, at 10:51 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at] sharonvillines.com> 
wrote:

> 
> 
> On Jan 25, 2014, at 10:31 AM, "David Entin" <davidentin [at] comcast.net> 
> wrote:
> 
>> We are wondering how cohousing communities deal with the financial
>> responsibility (between homeowner pays or community pays or both) 
>> for water leaking through foundations caused
>> *    damage to flooring and structures
>> *    mold 
>> we have a couple of requests for reimbursement for water damage floor and
>> structure replacement and tearing out wallboard and studs on which there was
>> mold.
> 
> Need more information. 
> 
> Are they personally owned basements or foundations under condos?
> 
> Was the damage the Homeowners Association responsibility or the 
> responsibility of the owner?
> 
> We try to determine the cause of the damage and that usually tells us if it 
> happened because of something the Association is responsible for or the 
> homeowner is responsible for. The Condominium Declaration outlines who is 
> responsible for what. 
> 
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
> http://www.takomavillage.org
> 
> 
> 
> 
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