Q&A: Who's responsible for leaks?

“Unless the declaration of condominium states differently, the association is responsible to repair and maintain plumbing and for furnishing of utility services to units and common elements,” says Russell M. Robbins, managing partner of the law firm of Mirza Basulto & Robbins, LLP in Coral Springs. “Further, the association is required to insure portions of the unit in the event of a casualty loss, so portions of the damage to the unit may be covered by the association’s insurance policy. A unit owner is however required to maintain coverage for personal property, fixtures, wall and floor covering, which is not covered by the association’s insurance policy. “Unfortunately, the plumbing in many older buildings is corrosive (copper, steel, etc.) rather than polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and will need to be replaced or removed as the building ages. Associations such as this one should consult with an experienced, licensed, plumbing contractor to determine if the pipes can be fit with a pipe liner, thus alleviating the need for opening up walls to make the necessary repairs.”

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