The Anatomy of a Water Leak
For those of us who live or work in a condominium, it is easy to lose sight of all of the infrastructure that operates behind the scenes to make a condominium a home. When that infrastructure fails, it can be inconvenient, or it can easily be disastrous in the case of a water leak. While the damage from a water leak can be immense, there are ways to avoid or at least reduce the impact from them, if you are proactive before and after they occur, and know your rights and responsibilities.
Taking steps like establishing inspection, maintenance and replacement schedules, and installing water leak detection systems, air conditioner pan alarms and remote sensors wired to master valve shut-offs can prevent problems from becoming a disaster. In the event of a water leak, condominium associations should take advantage of their right to access units to protect common elements and other units, and prevent mold from forming. Both the association and all affected unit owners should notify their respective insurance companies immediately, in writing, so their carriers’ adjusters can inspect the damage and advance cleanup, dry-out and repair costs.
While there might be a dispute over which insurance company should pay for what damage, as long as the required maintenance and replacements were performed and the damage was not the result of intentional conduct or negligence, some insurance coverage should apply to defray the financial impact of the leak. Alternatively, taking the appropriate steps before and after a leak will enable the impacted parties to hold accountable those entities truly responsible for the leak, like contractors, suppliers and service providers.
The foregoing issues and others will be addressed during a continuing education course presented by Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. attorneys Lisa Magill and Ryan Carpenter on April 24, 2014 from 9:00am to 11:00am at 1 East Broward Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (CAM credit available). If you would like to attend, please register online by clicking here: http://callbp.com/event_registration.php?event_id=321.