If you live in a condominium and you have a water leak - who is liable and pays depends on several factors. The overall question is "What is the cause of the leak?"
- If water damage is because of something that the condo residents caused like a toilet overflow then the liability is with the condo owner and claims will most likely go through his/her personal homeowners insurance.
- But if the problem originated in another condo unit or in the common area of the building - then the claims will likely go through the HOA (Home Owners Association) or owners of the building.
As a condo owner / resident you should be familiar with your HOA's policies on what they cover and what they do not. Some will cover fixtures such as faucets in individual units, others only cover issues related to the exterior of the building.
Steps To Take If You Find A Leak
Here are some simple steps that you can take if you happen to find a leak in your condo unit.
- If you find a leak around your toilet (and it's not overflowing) - look for the shutoff valve. This is normally a line coming out of the wall, normally located behind the toilet. You will want to turn it clockwise, but make sure not to force it. If you can't turn the valve, try some WD-40 to loosen it.
- If you find a leak under your sink, you should be able to turn off the water to the sink from the two shutoff valves under the sink. Normally there is one for cold water and one for hot water.
- Now that you have the water turned off - you can proceed with the next step.
- Review or contact your HOA to notify them of the problem and to get information about their specific rules on who is responsible for what. Most often, HOA contracts are very vague about this issue and you most likely will be turned over to their legal counsel.
- Note that toxic mold growth from water damage can begin with 48 hours - so there's no time to waste. If the problem is not taken care of immediately, you could end up (or the HOA could end up) paying not only to repair the leak but for mold remediation as well.
- Once you get a final answer from your HOA you can proceed by filing a claim with your personal home insurance or your HOA.
You may also find that if a pipe leak that caused your water damage occurred in a common area - the condo association may be responsible to fix the pipe leak but you may be responsible to fix the water damage in your condo unit.
Again, every condo HOA is different so please check your documents and/or call your condominium's association.
A professional plumber like the ones at Atlantis Plumbing can search for the cause of leaky pipes and fix the problem. You can call us 24 hours a day / 7 days a week at 770-505-8570.
We Offer Leak Detection and Repair in Metro Atlanta and Surrounding Areas
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