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Water Damage In My Condo Caused By Fire Sprinkler Leak

Defamation Law Discussion Forum

Water Damage In My Condo Caused By Fire Sprinkler Leak

Postby Mayer » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:24 am

I own condo in Florida which had water damage caused by the fire sprinkle system leaking in the kitchen area affecting cabinets, tiles and drywall. There is now mold growth.  The association told me there insurance will only cover the outer walls. I was told that I am responsible for the inner walls, removing mold, and replacing cabinets & tiles affected by water damage. I have tenants that are living there and have to temporariy be relocated while repairs are done. Isn't the association responsible for the damages caused by the fire sprinklers?  I do have homeowners insurance but have not contacted them yet.  But I feel the association is responsible for this and any expenses such as relocating tenants as it is the buildings responsibility to maintain the fire sprinklers.   Also will I be able to recover my expenses through small claims if I have to pay for it?
Mayer
 
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Water Damage In My Condo Caused By Fire Sprinkler Leak

Postby Phelim » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:02 pm

I own condo in Florida which had water damage caused by the fire sprinkle system leaking in the kitchen area affecting cabinets, tiles and drywall. There is now mold growth.  The association told me there insurance will only cover the outer walls. I was told that I am responsible for the inner walls, removing mold, and replacing cabinets & tiles affected by water damage. I have tenants that are living there and have to temporariy be relocated while repairs are done. Isn't the association responsible for the damages caused by the fire sprinklers?  I do have homeowners insurance but have not contacted them yet.  But I feel the association is responsible for this and any expenses such as relocating tenants as it is the buildings responsibility to maintain the fire sprinklers.   Also will I be able to recover my expenses through small claims if I have to pay for it?
Phelim
 
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Water Damage In My Condo Caused By Fire Sprinkler Leak

Postby colemann » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:47 am

Hi Anne,

I'm very sorry to hear about the issues you're having.

I'm going to start by dealing with what I believe to be the biggest issue first.  Your association couldn't be more wrong.  They are responsible for so much more than just the outside walls.  Any association that thinks that has not taken to time to pay attention to the issues that have been dealt with in the FL Legislature over the past five years.

Basically, the association is responsible for EVERYTHING structural INSIDE the unit with only nine specific exceptions:(floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing.) This is wording right out of FL Statute 718.111(11)(f)(3). Also, the association is NOT responsible for upgrades made of other items within the unit by the unit owner.

So...as you can see from the above, you would be responsible for the cabinets and tiles that must be replaced.  But...the ASSOCIATION would be responsible for all other damage, such as drywall, electrical, and yes...MOLD REMEDIATION.  

Water damage claims are usually from sudden and accidental leaks, and as such, cannot be predicted or prevented.  Leakage from fire sprinklers is not much different. Sometimes sprinklers malfunction.  The only time the association could possibly be held liable is if they failed to do annual maintenance and pressure checks.  Even then, it would be almost impossible to tell if a particular sprinkler will leak. All that being said, I am not an attorney and cannot answer as to whether you may be able to recover through small claims court.

As far as the relocation of the tenants is concerned, your policy nor the association's policy will pay for that.  However, if your tenants move out and cannot pay rent, you may be able to recover from your unit owner policy.  

I hope that helps a little.  If you have more questions, please feel free to email me.  

Here is the entire portion of the Statute I referred to above:

(f)  Every hazard insurance policy issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2009, for the purpose of protecting the condominium shall provide primary coverage for: 1.  All portions of the condominium property as originally installed or replacement of like kind and quality, in accordance with the original plans and specifications. 2.  All alterations or additions made to the condominium property or association property pursuant to s. 718.113(2). 3.  The coverage shall exclude all personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing.  
colemann
 
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