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Condo Plumbing issues

 
 
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2007 05:50 pm
I live in a condo. The unit downstairs from me and the unit behind that one got flooded. When we entered our condo, we noticed a puddle of water in our kitchen, dinning area and first restroom. The we cleaned the water and after removing it, we did not see anything wrong with our plumbling. I had a professional plumber come the following day and the tech confirmed we had no plumbing issues. Now the management company is stating we were the cause of the flood. I don't understand how they could come to that conclusion as there was minor water inside our condo the day of the flooding and no evidence that the leak came from our piping. It was my understanding the management company was liable for any plumbing issue within the walls. Why are they coming after us.

Thanks,

Isidro
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 6,428 • Replies: 11
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Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2007 06:08 pm
I'm not sure we can tell you that from the info you provided. Perhaps they're looking for an easy scapegoat. Provide them with the expert info from your plumber in writing and, if you have to, have it sent to them via registered mail.

Maybe others here could provide more insight.
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2007 06:32 pm
#1 - Water doesn't travel upwards unless it is forced to do so. The fact that you had water on your floor and that the two units below you flooded would lead one to initially assume that the problem started with the upper unit (yours). The water didn't come up from downstairs and end up on your floor.

#2 - Have you asked the management company how they came to their conclusion?


#3 - Your plumber stated that there was no problem in your unit. Did he have an explaination for where the water on your floor did come from?


If I were a management company and you admit to having water on your floor, the two units below you are flooded and your own plumber states that there are no plumbing issues in your unit then I'd guess that someone in your unit left a faucet running and flooded the unit or it came from one of your appliances (dishwasher, washing machine, etc..) overflowing.

You are asking why the management company is assuming the water came from your piping but you seem to be making the same sort of assumption that it came from a pipe within a wall. Someone needs to figure out where the water is coming from. Your best bet is probably to get your plumber to work with the management company's plumber and find the source. Once the actual source is know then you can determine who is responsible.
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ibflores
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2007 07:18 pm
1. According to the plumber that came into our condo. The water comes through the bottom units first and then to our unit. However the amount of water in our unit was minimal and we sufferred no structural damage. The carpet in our unit was not damaged, the entire condo did not flood. It was only located to certain areas of our house. Our condo to not flood.
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2. The management company stated they have an invoice from a plumber but that's it. I'm not sure what that invoice indicates as I have not received it yet.
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3. No he did not know where the water may have come from.
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We did have water in our unit but the amount was very small, again our unit did not get flooded, we did not open the door and see water all over the condo. It was located in small areas of the unit. However I will have to wait to see the management company report.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2007 08:35 pm
ibflores wrote:
1. According to the plumber that came into our condo. The water comes through the bottom units first and then to our unit.


So if someone on the 1st floor drops a glass of water on their floor it rises through their ceiling and ends up on your floor?

I think you are misunderstanding what I and your plumber are saying here.

The pipe may very well come in to the 1st floor and then feed upstairs to your unit (which is probably what your plumber is talking about). What I am saying is once the water leaked from the pipe it is no longer under pressure and will not travel upwards. That gravity thing pulls it downwards. Laughing
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ibflores
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2007 09:06 pm
Thanks for the info. I curious to see what the management report states as the cause of the leaking. If they state it was an applicance but they can not duplicate the issue, am I stuck just because the condo had some water?
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2007 09:12 pm
You have to check your Condo Assoc's rules for how you'd go about appealing the decision. If that fails you don't pay and they sue you and then they are forced to prove their case in court (or arbitration if that is a part of the condo rules...).

You might also check with your insurance provider. If it's covered under your policy (assuming you have one) then they can do the fighting for you.
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dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Jun, 2007 09:25 pm
The water in your kitchen drained to a wall or wall cavity, flowed downward in that cavity or downward and outward into the units below flooding them.
If it's an appliance that leaked ie a dishwasher I would say you are stuck. If you have houshold insurance you may be able to claim for restitution of the managment companies claims under a water damage clause.

Assuming you have a strata title agreement and its piping that leaked then its a common area issue.

If not a strata title then your responsibility starts at your property boundary for piping.

Get a written report from your plumber stating he found no issues. Don't tell him it may be the subject of legal action.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2007 08:11 am
Re: Condo Plumbing issues
ibflores wrote:
It was my understanding the management company was liable for any plumbing issue within the walls. Why are they coming after us.

The management company shouldn't be responsible for anything except managing the building. The unit owners, such as you, own the building, and are ultimately responsible for any damages to common elements -- and water pipes in the walls, by the way, are often considered to be common elements (check your local laws). Water pipes inside your unit, however, are typically your responsibility.

If the leak came from a common-element pipe, then you shouldn't be responsible for any flooding, since the pipe doesn't belong to you, it belongs to the condo association. On the other hand, if the leak came from an appliance or a pipe inside your unit, then you're probably responsible. As dadpad mentioned, your condo-owner's insurance may cover this claim. Call your insurance agent and explain your situation.
0 Replies
 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2007 08:24 am
Re: Condo Plumbing issues
joefromchicago wrote:

If the leak came from a common-element pipe, then you shouldn't be responsible for any flooding, since the pipe doesn't belong to you, it belongs to the condo association.


Most strata title units I have been involved with have had an insurance policy for commom area damage. In addition there are often sinking funds (usually for commomn area repairs and maintenance outside the scope of "normal" waer and tear.

Strata title owners often pay such fees on an annual basis and just consider them part of the management fee.

Rules and laws may differ from country to country.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Jun, 2007 08:31 am
Re: Condo Plumbing issues
dadpad wrote:
Most strata title units I have been involved with have had an insurance policy for commom area damage. In addition there are often sinking funds (usually for commomn area repairs and maintenance outside the scope of "normal" waer and tear.

I had never heard of the term "strata title" before, so I looked it up. I think it's similar to the kind of condominium ownership that we have in the US, but the Australian term "strata title" is completely unknown here.

The condo association should have insurance covering damages to the common elements or damage caused by defects in the common elements.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Jun, 2007 07:35 am
A common source of leaks is the bathtub/shower.
I had several cracks in my old shower/tub, so I recently had a new shower etc installed.

During the installation, the plumbers told me that a
woman in my condo buiding had been doing laundry in her bathtub and during her 8-10 absence while she was at work, the water in the tub, slowly leaked through the cracks in the tub (fiberglass), until the whole floor of the tub gave way to the unit beneath her.

I don't know if her insurance company paid for the damages or not.
0 Replies
 
 

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