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If a Neighbor Damages Your Condo, Who Makes the Insurance Claim?

Written by Ilyce Glink on April 22, 2013 in Insurance  |   73 comments

You open the door to your condominium after a long day of work, but before you settle in for the night, you notice water dripping from the ceiling and a large discolored spot on your living room carpet. It appears as if a toilet or…

insurance claim insurance policyYou open the door to your condominium after a long day of work, but before you settle in for the night, you notice water dripping from the ceiling and a large discolored spot on your living room carpet. It appears as if a toilet or bathtub belonging to your upstairs neighbor has overflowed, causing damage to your own unit.

Who is at fault in this sticky situation, and how is your unit covered?

“The worst thing is for folks to do nothing on the assumption that someone else’s insurance will cover the damage,” said Rich Rykens, a claims team manager from State Farm.

This could turn into a complex situation because multiple parties are involved, including the other condo owner and possibly the condo association. In addition, your condo association’s bylaws—and even state laws—may affect who ultimately foots the bill.

Although it’s difficult to look at this scenario and immediately determine who is responsible for the damage in your condo, there is a protocol that you can follow to get the mess cleaned up.

Be proactive. Immediately file a claim with your own insurance company, which may cover the damage according to the limits of your condo owner’s policy.

Unlike homeowners insurance, there is no standard insurance policy for condo owners. The type of insurance policy you have as a condo owner is dependent on the master policy held by the condo association. You probably contribute to this on a monthly basis through assessments. Although it differs from building to building, the condo association master policy usually covers the building’s structure, exterior parts, and shared spaces.

Once you file a claim with your own insurance company, it will investigate whether or not a third party—like the upstairs neighbor, the condo association, or a plumber—was responsible, said Justin Herndon, a member of the Allstate National Media Team.

If a third party is at fault for the damage in your unit, your insurance company will then subrogate the claim with that party, which means it will try to recoup what it paid out in the claim. If your insurance company is able to recover any of the costs, it may refund you for repairs paid for out of pocket, according to Rykens.

This procedure should apply to submitting insurance claims for other types of damage in your condo. Shared living spaces can be difficult at times, but as a condo owner, it’s important to read both your master and individual policies so you understand how you are covered before coming home to another accident.


Ilyce Glink is a best-selling author, real estate columnist, and web series host. She is the managing editor of the Equifax Finance Blog and CEO of Think Glink Media. Follow her on Twitter: @Glink

The information contained in this blog post is designed to generally educate and inform visitors to the Equifax Finance Blog. The blog posts do not give, and should not be assumed to provide, personalized tax, investment, real estate, legal, retirement, credit, personal financial, or other professional advice. Before making any financial decision, you should always consult with the appropriate professionals who can explain your options, rights, and legal responsibilities, and advise you on any tax, legal, credit, or business implications that may result from those decisions. The views and opinions expressed by the authors of blog posts are their own views and may not be the views or opinions of Equifax, Inc. and/or its affiliates.


  1. John says:

    Interesting article. I’ve never owned a condo but my friend has been through a lot of issues with his association and insurance company because structural issues. Definitely read through your condo insurance policy or you could be on the hook for issues.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      John, You’re right. You should review your own condo policy as well as the association’s policy to see all that’s covered and who’s responsible for what. You want to make sure you’re covered. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • dee says:

      Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

      I purchased a base level apts. renovated to condos in Herndon, VA Fox Mill Station Condos in 2005. I have had (3) water leaks in my ceilings from different unit owners above me. None of them wanted to accept the responsibility and pay except the first one. I took 2 owners to court and the other was drug on and on by the property mgmt taking sides and dragging their feet not demanding the unit owner above me get his unit fixed.
      In the future, what is the best way to demand a repair? Attorney or the county officials?

      • FRANCESMORRA says:


        • Plamen says:

          I had a case like this. A shower valve bursted in my unit and flooded it along with the unit below. Since the source of the damage was sudden and accidental (not negligence) the damages in my unit were covered by my insurance and the damages in the unit below were covered by their insurance. Interesting how the tenant’s insurance sent me a letter that they have settled with my insurance and I owe them some $20,000 for damages to the teanant’s belongings (not the owner!). I just gave the letter to my insurance and they took care of those pests! So, whatch out insurance companies will try to get money from you, even when there is no reason for it.

      • Allison says:

        Hi Dee,
        I’m not sure if you will get this, but I would like to know the outcome of your legal action taken toward your neighbor? I had a significant leak in my unit coming from a supposed clogged A/C unit two stories above me. It seems that the unit owner’s insurance is not going to claim any responsibility, leaving me holding the bag. I want to know if it’s worth taking the unit owner to small claims. Thank you.

        • Char says:

          Did you get resolution on your claim? Our downstairs condo unit was flooded by criminal intent of boyfriend plugging up sinks and running water deliberately to destroy. Condo Association says it is not common area so not their issue. Our Insurance says it is Condo Association’s issue.

          • G says:

            That’s not the association’s issue. It’s yours. You are responsible for bringing it up with your insurance. And you would be responsible for filing a police report for vandalism against the boyfriend and filing civil suit for damages.

    • Susette M. W. says:

      Here’s another issue that I think will result in higher insurance cost for surrounding neighbors in a condo. Our CAM gave permission to install new AC bypassing the original wirings, running it up the building, in the roof, thru the firewalls of several attics & down a firewall to connect it inside. The firewall between units is now compromised. I believe if these homeowners don’t increase their coverage or some may lose coverage due to this. What do you think?

  2. Tammy says:

    What happens when the condo owner on the bottom has no homeowners insurance?

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Tammy, it’s hard to say without knowing the policy of the condo association, but each condo owner should have their own condo insurance policy. Any damage created by another unit might be covered by the master policy or it might not, it’s hard to say. You should review the master policy held by the condo association to be sure. If you have questions, the insurance agent should be able to help you out. I hope that helps.

  3. W Somers says:

    Very good article. As a retired General Adjuster, I might add that some condo associations and/or management companies will resist claims against the master policy even though the master policy clearly covers the loss. As the article suggests, make sure you or your representative understand the condo by-laws, master policy and state statutes before accepting a denial of coverage.

  4. Richard in St. Louis says:

    In our condo, the bylaws waive our rights to subrogation, so is strictly on our own policies. We had situation where damage done from broken water pipe where thousands of $ damage done, and us and our insurance had to foot the bill. If your neighbor is uncooperative as our neighbor was it becomes a sticky situation. Makes for poor neighbor relations. Recommend from our experience if you see in covenants waiver of subrogation, do not buy there.

    • EFX Moderator, EM says:

      Richard, thank you so much for sharing your experience. We really appreciate the information. Thanks.

  5. John D says:

    I’ve had this problem where water leakage came dripping from the upper floor bathroom and caused damage to my lighting fixtures and ceilings. The condo HOA insurance did take care of the damages. Not sure if they went after the homeowners above but we were covered.

    • suzanne says:

      did you have insurance

    • Bhupen R. says:

      Hi John D,,
      I have same situaion like yours right now, 2 weeks back our upstair neighbour’s water heater broke down, and we have damages in celling & pantry! The upstair neighbour & her insurance says that it is not her’s fault and denying to pay damage to us. I talked to our Condo Association, they said she has to pay! If she doesn’t pay can go to small court, I don’t know what to do? If you can give me idea how to claim these damages thru my Condo’s HOA, pl let me know the details. If I claim to my own condo insurance, I have $500 deductible and the damage is less than $500, so my Ins. Co. says it is not worth claiming to my Ins.co. So shall I go to small court or claim thru my Condo HOA? Thanks—Bhupen R.

      • sue....from vegas says:

        I do have same situation that water damages from 2nd floor unit to my downstairs unit. The owner of upstair’s insurance say that not their fault so they won’t cover. Of course, My hoa said it’s owner of upstairs should pay for all. I don’t know what to do next..
        Also, Iam dealing with property management.

  6. MaryAnne Holub says:

    Doesn’t the homeowner specifically have to carry flood insurance to not be denied coverage for an incident like this?

  7. Alexis L says:

    If I contact my insurance company because of damage to my unit not caused by me, will that impact my insurance rates and will I still have to pay my deductible?

    • EFX Moderator, KB says:

      Alexis L, good question. Do you know who caused the damage? If it was your neighbor, for example, and they have the proper insurance, this situation should be easier to manage.

      But if whoever damaged your property and has no insurance, the quickest way to get your property repaired may be to call your insurance agent in order to make a claim on your own insurance policy—provided that you have proper coverage and the damage is over your deductible.

      Here is a link with more information: http://blog.equifax.com/insurance/tips-for-handling-claims-when-your-neighbor-has-no-insurance/

  8. Eve says:

    I own a condo. I have a water leak from amy water heater. I filed a claim from my own insurance triple a, they sent their contract to work in my unit. And few days later they told me I have to file a claim in my home owners asso. Insurance bec. They are primary ,Which I did and they declined it. Now I’m frustrated bec. Both insurance juggled me. Both insurance decline my claims. Is there anybody who could help me with my problem. Thank you for your time

    • Sarah S. says:

      Eve – did everything get settled? This is an old thread, so I am not sure if you will see my question. I am in the same situation right now and I don’t know what to do. Please reply.

    • Jennifer says:

      try contacting your insurance commissioner

  9. Elaine says:

    We have a condo in Texas, the third floor condo owner had a major leak which has effected the second and bottom floors (our is bottom). We did not have insurance and have had the unit up for sale and periodically rented. The water damage occurred Thanksgiving 2013, and we are still not being paid what we had to spend to repair. Consequently we had renters that were suppose to move in December 1, 2013 and had to decline the contract. So in lieu of repairs and lost revenue of $12,600.00 the insurance wants to pay us $8,500.00 for total loss. Meaning we are out $4,100.00, stating that they pay for depreciated values only.. How can they say that? Our condo was in fine shape, we had it totally repainted 3 yrs ago and hung new wallpaper in kitchen and bathroom at the same time. Now they want to depreciate everything and pay as little as possible. They had Servpro Cleaning come out and they made more of a mess than good, but they will pay them $2,800.00 for their service and my contractor charged me $4,880.00 to tear out and replace sheet-rock, texture, paint, replace insulation and tear out wet carpet and pad. Contractor also moved furniture for carpet company to install new carpet and they allowed $2,200.00 for his repairs. Something just seems a bit off here if you ask me. New carpet cost $2,286.00 and then we had contract for rental which we had to cancel so we lost revenue of $2,600. there. Our total damage repairs are $12,566 and they want to pay $8,500.00 leaving us holding the bag $4,066.00. What do we do now????

    • Vi says:

      Hi Elaine,

      What ever happened with your situation? We are facing the same thing where the top unit’s sprinkler broke and flooded out unit. All the walls and floors have been ripped out and our renters terminated their contract. I am waiting for an estimate for repairs but imagine it will be $20k +. It’s still under investigation as to who takes the fault of the sprinkler breaking.

    • NTamplin says:

      We are facing a similar situation…how did you the claim to the insurance? It was the owner upstairs? Did you go to small claims? We tried calling the insurance co of our upstairs neighbor and got nowhere…we don’t know who to call or what to do… we have no insurance. The damage was done by a AC leak upstairs and our renters were not living there (unbeknownst to us) and were lending out the property to their workers periodically so there is mold everywhere….we don’t know who is liable the renters who were breaking their contract or the upstairs neighbor…as the damage was much much worse since it didn’t get caught on time…

  10. Jen says:

    Our neighbor started a grease fire around thanksgiving 2013. By word of mouth we understand that this was a renter without renter insurance. The grease fire set off the sprinkler system through out the entire building. Our unit had damage to the hardwood floors. The Condominium contracted an independent company to repair the damages and insurance adjustor to assess the work. Our work was completed and then we were given a bill and deadline to pay within few weeks! We footed the bill. The total was less than our insurance deductible. I would like to file a suborgation but the condominium management, mainly the GM, informed me they’re not able to provide me information about the insurance provider of the unit or the unit owner or renter. They will not provide any information. Our insurance agent would like name of the unit owner and insurance company before being able to pursue. What are our rights? How do we get this information?

    • EFX Moderator, KB says:

      Jen, sorry to hear about your situation. You may want to consult with a lawyer who can better answer your questions.

      Best of luck.

  11. Greg says:

    the condo unit upstairs from my garage leaked causing damage to my garage ceiling drywall. His insurance company called touting the “not negligent” claim that the wouldn’t repair my ceiling. However now, they want access to my garage to open up my ceiling more to fix his drain. I have clause in CC&Rs stating I need provide him easement for repairs, but is he liable to repair my drywall that he has to rip open to fix his drain? There is nothing explicitly stated about this in CC&Rs

  12. Holly says:

    I’m a little confused. This article states: “’The worst thing is for folks to do nothing on the assumption that someone else’s insurance will cover the damage,’ said Rich Rykens, a claims team manager from State Farm.”

    My mother’s unit flooded because of a corroded pipe from the upstair’s unit that was in the common area. Because neither the association nor the upstairs owner wanted to take responsibility, my mother had to get in a plumber and get it fixed. Between her deductible and plumber’s bills, she paid approximately $1,600 out of pocket. Her insurance company said they could not recoup any money from the upstair’s unit because she was not negligent. ? Apparently she has to be told there is a problem with her pipe and do nothing about it to be considered negligent. What I’ve learned from all this is the opposite of what this person said, tell the upstairs owner and association there is a major problem with the pipe (that isn’t yours) and wait it out.

    • Donna says:

      The Association is responsible for all pipes in the common areas, not the person upstairs.

    • Dan H. says:

      I’m not an insurance adjuster, but I would be uneasy paying on your written statement here.

  13. Sherry says:

    I live in a Townhome, these are individual homes that you buy. My neighbor has flooded my home 5 times from washing machine to toilets running over. We do have a home owner association and it the bylaws states clearly that it pays for exterior damages,not interior and each homeowner should buy their own personal policy to cover the interior of our homes and liabilities of damages done to others. This owner is a Realtor and uses this unit as rental property and should know these things and we have talked to her about her responsibilities several times. She has a copy of the bylaws of the property and knows that she is responsible for these damages. Each time she avoids our phone calls and sends the plumber to our home. The plumbing is in her wall not ours and he comes to me to let him in her unit that is now empty and having repairs done to it to be leased out again. She will get the plumber to fix that one problem, but never finds the solution that is causing the continuous flooding to our unit. We were just flooded again yesterday. Our wall is wet again and baseboards are coming apart. All my furniture has been wet several times and the bottom of each piece is coming apart including all my wool rugs. I can’t seem to get her to respond in a timely manner and then take responsibly for the damages that she has caused. She won’t even let the Mold Inspector cut a hole in her wall to determine if and what type of mold is possibly there. She knows that she is to provide insurance for the interior of her unit and liabilities for damages caused to neighbors. How should this be handles since I can not get any help from her. I’m at the end of my rope. This is the fifth time and I can’t continue to clean up this mess and let my home and furniture be destroyed by her ignorance. She just acts as if it is no big deal. It would be if it were her personal property.

    • Dot says:

      Hello Sherry,

      I have nearly Identical problem with numerous repeated floods from negligent Uncooperative neighbor/owner of upstairs condo; I’m getting desperate too especially re Mold.

      Have you had Any luck with Replies or Info from Any websites at all?? I can’t even begin to sell my condo because every time I start doing repairs and painting, etc. I get flooded yet again. I’m at my wit’s end.

      • DanH says:

        Who sells mold insurance? Anybody?

        • Rachel says:

          Same story with mu upstairs Condo neighbor. He is a renter, I own unit below. He is a drunk and very unreliable. i’m afraid one day, my place will burn down if he falls asleep smoking.

          Two years ago his AC flooded. It ruined my shed and walls in my house. i had an adjuster, had things fixed through my insurance. 6 months later, I received my deductible back, stating they received money from the responsible party.

          Now, Same thing happened. I asked my neighbor if he had leak. He refused to look. three days later my ceiling over my bed, collapses! Here we go again. I have an adjuster and going though my insurance again. The renter and owner (real estate guy) are negligent. When I get paid, I plan on seeing lawyer and suing him small claims and scaring him into doing maintenance.

  14. Sharon says:

    I have a condo the one behind us had a pipe going to the ice maker break no one was home at the time water got into my condo and got to the rug I have no insurance who is responsible for the damage

  15. Chris says:

    My friends bought a townhouse and a friend came over to visit a few weeks ago. She entered the driveway and drove straight into the side of the townhouse but it was the neighbours side. (the townhouses are joined). There is now structural damage to the side wall and the townhouse corporation says my friends have to pay the repairs since it was their friend coming to visit.

    Who’s responsibility is it to pay for the structural damage to the townhouse building?

    • Monique says:

      It is the person’s CAR INSURANCE responsibility to fix the town house. The person who drove into the house has car insurance! The claim should be filed with them.

      If a car runs into a house the car insurance is responsible!

  16. claudine c. says:

    Is this blog still going on?

    Our Illinois Condominium Association Declaration has the mandatory “waiver” clause to use our own insurance policy in case of being damaged by the negligence of an other unit. Our Condominium Rules and Regulations, on the other hand, stipulates that all units need to have enough insurance to cover damages and deductible to another unit.

    We have been hit 4 times in 5 years and our insurance policy paid each time, the other insurance company subrogating the waiver, with the results that our own policy premiums went considerably upl.

    My question: do our Rules and Regulations override and supersede the waiver?
    Even our own insurance company is troubled with the Illinois requirements!

  17. michaude says:

    My sit is that after the second flood that my neighbor has caused to my townhome, the damage estimate exceeds what the neighbors insurance agent offers, and says that there is a dollar amount ceiling only W O W ! and I’m the victim here. is there any other option other than my policy for fear of concern with my agent. does anyone no a little legal info ?

  18. Matt D says:

    My upstairs neighbor has a leak somewhere and is causing water to come through my ceiling and onto the floor. The floor is starting to warp. Since it does not look like a common element is the culprit, whose insurance has to pay?

    • hiedi says:

      MATT D. Did u ever get your problems fixed with floors and such from water damage? What did they do i have the same problem with my neighbors upstairs now my floor and walls are ruined!!

  19. Maureen says:

    our condo board contracted to do repairs to the masonry exterior of our building. The contractor (under guidance from the board) left large holes in the side of the building for months. Recently, torrential rain caused water to come into our unit creating a severe mold situation in our carpet and walls. Who is responsible?

    • natalie tarbouche says:

      Hello , I had a flood in my condo that originate from the unit upstairs ,have lots of damage in the walls and parquet floor as well in my contents , as well have to return from Florida for that matter after I left three days my holidays were ruin and had to pay extra 275 american dollars for a return ticket because have to change my original booking , then according to my adjuster I have to pay my 2000 deductable , is that right even that the flood originate from another unit please give me some legal advice ,my building insurance will pay for the repair of my walls and flooring but they will do a partial job like will paint only area where affected so the color will not be unique in anyway , my insurance will pay for my content damage I am not sure how , I already lost more than 1000$ for my trip of two days and is it fair that I pay another 2000$ my deductable and have to finish the work of painting etc , how about my mental stress during all this delemma ,I need some help and advice please

  20. Bruce D says:

    I live in a townhouse condominium and a tornado damaged a number of homes with one taking the brunt of the damage. Who is responsible for the condo’s $5000 deductible?

  21. jia says:

    there are 8 units involved in the fire hazard. tjere are 2 condos burn down and my condo is to the right and downstair of the burn down condo. and i have water damage. the HOA called the reconstruction group to help us salvage our stuff. so the construction group removed my carpet and part of ceilimg thats being damaged. i own the condo and paid off. i dont have rental insurance, but my personal content is not damaged. the HOA is not responding, so i called the HOA commerical insurance, they said it is not beimg filed in the system. what should i do now? who is goimg to pay relocation since i am not liable for damage

    • Tiffanie says:

      Your Ho6 policy will cover the hotel stay. If not, you’ll have to pay out of pocket. You must always have insurance even when your condo has a master policy.

  22. Jia H. says:

    what should i do after fire inneighbor and caused my owned condo to have flood damage?

  23. Annie says:

    I need advice please. I live in a vintage six flat. My upstairs neighbor’s kitchen sink pipe had a hole in it and caused water damage to my ceiling. She and her husband fixed it themselves. She doesn’t want to spend any money on it because it’s for sale and she doesn’t live there. I want to wait to get my ceiling fixed after she turns her water back on to make sure it is in fact fixed. She refuses to turn the water back on until the unit is sold, which could take a very long time since there is another unit in the building that has been for sale for over a year. Is there a way I can force her turn her water on to see if I’m going to get more water damage in my unit?

    • DanH says:

      Call local water department to see if water was turned off legally. They are trying to postpone future claims on next owners insurance and not theirs.

  24. Dan B says:

    My condo leaked water from the washer into the downstairs condo. I have condo insurance. Will it cover the cost to repair the damage to the downstairs condo?

  25. Gwen says:

    I rent a condo and the unit above me had a water leak during renovations being made to their unit. I had major damage and had to move out for several months while repairs were made. What recourse do I have with the upstairs owner and what can I add for as a settlement?

  26. Kaorakan says:

    From my insurance agent.

    Does this sound right? So every time my neighbor upstairs flood my ceiling I will have to pay the deductible to fix my ceiling.

    Page 27: Association has replacement cost coverage for the original units.
    Page 28: The unit owners (you) are to insure your own belongings and any upgrades In your units.
    Page 29: There IS a waiver of subrogation.

    This means: Your association should address the damages, as you confirmed your unit is original. However, your policy deductible is $500.00, so if you are charged more than this for the association deductible, you may submit confirmation of the association’s master policy deductible and evidence of the covered costs incurred so we can pay you for the difference. (For example: you can send the association’s insurance declarations sheet that shows the master policy deductible, or an invoice from the association for their own policy deductible. Along with one of these I would need a scope of work so I can confirm the claimed damage. )
    You are not able to seek liability from the at-fault unit owner, as the association does not allow you to do this.

  27. Kim says:

    Condo owner paid cash at closing for foreclosed property, without insurance and caused water damages in my 2 bathrooms. The plummer informed me that he replaced the rings the toliets sit on. Months later, i walked into the kitchen & notice water stains on the walls & water dripping down the floodlight. At this point, the owner tell me, she now has condo insurance. But, she’s playing games & hasn’t given it to me. I have been proactive, constantly knocking on her door. I have spoken to the owner, & (the daughter & boyfriend), who lives in the unit. The owner refuses to cooperate, & give me & the Property Manager insurance information. The owner is responsible for water damages & no one else. The Property Manager informed me, the owner didn’t have insurance at closing. I provided the Property Manager & Board, my condo insurance, (to have on file), but the other homeowner hasn’t turn over her insurance. I need help!!

  28. Grace says:

    I live on the 3rd floor of our building. I have just received a letter from my HOA that there is a pinhole leak on my hydronic heater. And due to the extent of the damage that this leak has caused on the 2 units below me they have made an executive decision to get the repairs fixed and that I will be incurring all the costs.
    I didn’t even know there was a leak, we just moved in and never used to heater. This is a big concern for me. their letter doesn’t even tell me how much it will cost. Help….. What do a I do?

  29. my Legal rights says:

    I have an upstairs unit and it overflowed. My neighbor would not allow me in to see her unit and see any damages. Instead she just stared work on her unit. She moved out for 2 months and now have sent me the bill. I am not sure of what damages are truly mine this is a very old building. She is wanting for me to pay a bill over 30K including hotel accommodations. I do not feel responsible when she would not allow me or my insurance company evaluate and damages. What is my legal rights

  30. Kevin says:

    Not sure if this post is still active but I am in the same situation. 3 days ago, the neighbor across the hall from my condo had a pipe burst. It flooded her place, her direct connected neighbor’s place and flooded my place, not as severe as their’s but enough for the HOA office to bring in specialists to pull up my living room and dining room carpet and they have these huge blowers dehumidifier blowing for 3 days straight in the kitchen, dining room and living room.

    Now here’s my dilemma. This post so far has been the best information about this kind of thing on the net and when I spoke to the HOA office, they tell me their insurance will cover the original build of the property but it will not cover upgrades (even upgrades that happened BEFORE I moved into the condo 3 months ago) and he does not know about the carpeting because it looks like it needs to be replaced. It looked damn near new when I moved in. He said I should call my insurance agency so they can send out their adjuster.

    So I call my insurance office and they tell me its not a good idea to file a claim because it was my neighbor’s fault and since I have a $500 deductible, that will come out of my picket AND it might make my rate go up. I’m like, WTF !!! He says I should go after my neighbor and HOA office for the money but from what I am reading, it sounds like I should have my own adjuster on my side (from my insurance company) and that requires filing a claim, right ? This whole thing is new to me and completely crazy.

    So my question is, should I wait for the HOA’s adjusters to finish checking everything and to give me a price on the repair and see if the HOA will cover all of it or should I still file a claim with my insurance company anyway to get their adjusters involved ASAP ? Not to mention the power bill for all these blowers running 24/7 for 3 days now. They already caused my circuit breaker to trip 3 times now. If the power bill is extremely high because of all this, they pay for that too, right ? I have a lawyer legal plan through my job where I can reach out to several lawyers to represent me. Is that something I need to do here?

  31. M. Weir says:

    My condominium association just did a special assessment and wants me to pay and economical sum of $$1500.00 to pay the cost of a new elevator and a fire door which one of my neighbor smashed her car into.I understand the elevator fee, but why should I pay the fees to replace the fire door. Should my neighbor be held accountable. What is my course of action.

    • DanH says:

      If the reason you are suppose to pay is your neighbor had no car insurance. Try putting the charge on your uninsured motorist coverage on your car insurance policy if uninsured motorist was added to your auto policy. Otherwise maybee you can sue the persons liability insurance for (your) $1500.00.

  32. sandra says:

    My neighbor had a leak from her bathtub which has damaged my ceiling this is the second time. The first time my insurance took care of it though it was not my fault. Now it has happened again the Condo assosication says its not their problem. can I take my neighbor to Small Claims Court as I do not want to pay to get it fixed a second time.

    • Patt says:

      My neighbor had a fire , I had to pay the deductible $1,000, because she was not responsible for the incident, I guess it was the fire’s fault. My insurance paid for the damage to my condo. My insurance agent told me you cannot put the blame on any neighbor.if you own a condo what BS!

  33. Sharon says:

    I’m not understanding the point of homeowners liability insurance if the insurance company isn’t liable for damages their premium paying client caused. Lets say I’m driving down the street in my big truck, the wheel comes off and hits an on coming car causing damage to that car but not mine. Wouldn’t my insurance be liable for damages to the other car? The answer is yes. so what is the difference with homeowners insurance?

  34. Lee J says:


    I am having very similar problems to the ones described by people. The tenants in the condo above mine (I own and they rent), have caused a massive leak in my kitchen. I have not been able to use my kitchen and it’s been 4 days. The condo ppl say they will only pay for the walls and ceilings, but not any betterments, cost of any appliances or out of pocket costs like food. There is also a clause in our by-laws which I just found out about that says that I cannot subrogate against the upstairs owner or tenant. I have done nothing wrong yet, it will be me who is going to be out money. If I go through my insurance, they will raise the rates (yes they said they would) and I have a 1k deductible.

    Any suggestions? Can I sue them, personally to get back my out of pocket costs?

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be super helpful and much appreciated!

    Thanks so much,


  35. laird f says:

    so all of this confusion is comical. you are responsible for damages to your unit only. unless it can be proved that you were negligent and caused the damage intentionally. each individual owner should have there own policy for contents and any betterments and improvements from original construction. the master policy covers everything else.
    the example I use is this. say yoy are on the 11th floor and your supply line breaks and floods 10 floors down. did you insure all 11 units when you purchased your insurance policy? no I am sure you didn’t. now if the leak originated in a limited common or common area – such as between walls and ceilings then it is an HOA issue and covered by master policy. you can only be responsible for walls in. any of this can be found in state statutes by doing a search. Also any idiot board can add items to the HOA documents and it does not mean they are legal and or binding. it all refers back to state statutes . easiest way to figure this all out is file a claim with your agent and let them sort it out. They are your agent and represent only you.

  36. Mark S says:

    It seems that Insurance Companies do not find a 3rd party at fault if the leak is caused by normal wear and tear. Or at least that has been my experience in two situations in a 12 floor condo building. The covenants make no explicit direction as to the handling of the matter. But make clear the boundaries of each unit, while the HOA takes responsibility for the intervening spaces and communal areas.

    Then again, water at pressure. Who provides the pressure? Why not blame the local water department for water? What indeed are the safeguards provided to the collective home owners? It’s not like you’ve let your bath overrun – which would be negligent.

    And if the homeowner affected by a neighbor’s leak doesn’t take any mitigating action on their part? What if they don’t bother to follow up with their insurers immediately. If they fail to report a potential claim and have an assessor of their own visit?

    Even though, it seems completely unfair that a homeowner cannot take out an insurance policy that covers the consequences of any water or harmful substance flowing out from their property.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I’m a renter of a condo which is property managed these condos are HOA. I didn’t turn my shower off completely and the hand held hose was outside of the shower stall platform flooding my neighbor who owns hers. She doesn’t have insurance and was not told about the asbestos in her ceiling. My insurance is going to cover all repairs except the removal of the asbestos and now the contracting company is stating I will be charged the removal. My question is the asbestos was there prior to the water leak and I wasnt notified of the asbestos either shouldn’t the hoa pay for the removal? It’s considered a pre existing condition. Correct? I did not put the asbestos there so why so I have to pay to have it removed?

  38. Lyn says:

    Hopefully will get a reply. I was at a meeting and it was brought out that someone had an issue with a unit on top leaking. The association stated that they would give the insurance information (we have to turn in our policy each year) to the homeowner below. Are they allowed to do this? I am in Illinois.

  39. R. Costanza says:

    There was a ceiling fire in my brother’s condo caused by wiring short and determined an accident The fire spread and also damaged the ceiling of the adjacent unit. HOA policy repaired roof,structural supports, drywall and wiring. Neighbor suing my brother for 5 months of lost rent neither property owner carries their own insurance. Is my brother liable for neighbors lost rent? They want $5,000.

  40. annonamous says:

    I am a condo owner in Illiois. When I was at the last association meeting something confused me. We have to give a copy of our insurance to the property manager at the beginning of the year. It was stated at the last meeting that there was someone who had water damage form the above unit. The president stated “just give the homeowner below the unit the insurance for the unit above”. Can they do that? It is paid for by each of the unit owners and not the association and contains personal information! Are they able to give away the insurance documents without the consent of the owner?

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