As a Florida Condo Lawyer with offices near Miami, South Beach, Sunny Isles, Aventura and Fort Lauderdale, I get hundreds of calls from condo owners that have suffered some type of damage due to toxic mold and water intrusion from the condominium common elements like the roof and plumbing as well as damage from other units.
Most people think that the Condominium Association Insurance will cover all of their damage. While it is true that Florida Condominium Associations are responsible for maintaining the common elements and are required to provide insurance for the building, most Condominium Insurance Policies have mold exclusions or have very limited coverage for damage due to mold.
In addition, most people don’t know that Florida Condominium Owners are required to have insurance on their own units. Section 718.111 of the Florida Condominium Act sets forth the insurance requirements for Condominium Association and for the Individual Condo Owners. Typically the Association is responsible from the drywall out and the individual unit owner is responsible from the paint inward. That means, if a common pipe bursts without any warning and all of your furniture and personal property gets damaged, you won’t be able to recover unless you have insurance on your condominium unit or unless you can prove negligence on the part of the condominium association or some other party.
The standard insurance policy that individuals usually obtain for their condominium unit is what is called an “HO6” Policy. This policy provides coverage for the Dwelling and for the Personal Property or contents of the unit. The difference between the two coverages is best explained by the following: imagine if you could turn your condominium unit upside down… everything that does not fall downward would be considered part of the Dwelling and everything else would be considered Personal Property.
Some individual Condominium Insurance Policies also provide coverage for Mold and for Loss of Use. If the water or mold damage is so severe that the unit is not livable then the Loss of Use portion can provide benefits for you to obtain temporary housing somewhere else. The Mold coverage is usually significantly less than the coverage for the Dwelling or even the Personal Property. Many Insurance Adjusters dealing with condo owners will try and take advantage of this and blame the entire loss on the mold and thereby attempt to limit the amount they ultimately pay out to their own insureds.
Flooding, broken pipes, water leaks, and drainage problems can result in mold, ruin drywall, and trigger health problems. The term toxic mold refers to molds that produce mycotoxins. Exposure to high levels of mycotoxins can lead to serious illness or, in extreme cases, even death. Many people who have water intrusion in their condominium units do not even realize that toxic mold is growing inside the walls. As a condo owner, a Florida mold attorney can help you with the process to make sure that your condo unit is properly remediated and that you are compensated for your losses.
When a condo unit has water intrusion that is not properly addressed, the unit can eventually become uninhabitable preventing you from being able to sell or rent the unit and can spread to other units; exploring your legal rights helps everyone who lives in the same building. A good mold attorney in Broward County or Sunny Isles can make the difference between bankruptcy and monetary health.
Mold thrives on moisture and humidity. This is Unfortunate for areas like:
Mold damage can be devastating. Mold spores in a home can contribute to a range of health issues: eye irritation, congestion, asthma and other respiratory distress, skin rashes, even mood and behavior problems.
If you were exposed to dangerous mold, you may need to consider hiring a mold lawyer to provide legal representation.
Since mold is essentially a function of water, leaky windows, a leaky roof, leaking pipes, and prior water damage that wasn’t dealt with properly can all cause of mold problems. Getting rid of mold can be a lengthy, expensive process. The only way to eliminate the problem is to dry it out. A severe case may require a mold remediation company.
If your home or condominium is contaminated by mold, whose responsibility is it? The answer to that question can be complicated. If you’re a homeowner or condo owner whose building has been contaminated by mold, consider hiring us as your Florida mold lawyer.
In cases where the Condominium Association’s Insurance Carrier is involved, they typically send out Inspectors and other Experts to go in and view the damage. In past experiences we have seen these Inspectors hired by Association Insurance intent on looking to blame the cause of the water intrusion or mold damage on something that the Unit Owner is responsible for maintaining; like the Air Conditioning or the Windows. Moreover, these Inspectors rarely share their findings with the Unit Owners. Therefore, it is important for Unit Owners to hire their own experts to go in and assess the damage and obtain the evidence necessary to confirm that the cause of the water intrusion was due to a failure to maintain the common elements by the Association.
An experienced Florida Condo Attorney that represents the individual Condo Owners will know what experts to bring in to prove the loss is due to a failure to maintain the common elements. In addition, he will know the arguments to make to show that the original cause of the loss was due to water intrusion and will argue in favor of the greater coverages for the dwelling and personal property. The Law Offices of Herb M. Milgrim, P.A., is one of the only Florida Condo Law Firms that does not represent the Associations. We will guide you through the process step by step and coordinate with the various experts and inspectors to make sure that your interests are protected.
We represent individual unit owners (Condo Owners, Homeowners and Cooperative Owners) that have disputes or are contemplating Litigation or a Lawsuit against their Association or another owner. We provide prospective clients with a *Free Case Evaluation. You can call us and tell us about your case to see if we can help you. Once we have been retained we review all of the relevant documents and governing Florida Laws and advise our clients on the best course of action. Call us now (954) 966-3909! If you have water or mold damage in your condominium, townhouse or cooperative in Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Sunny Isles, Downtown Miami, South Beach, Aventura, Davie, Dania Beach, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Tamarac, Coral Springs, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Naples or anywhere in Florida be sure to contact us for a free case evaluation.
* FREE CASE EVALUATION IS BY TELEPHONE AND DOES NOT INCLUDE LEGAL ADVICE. OFFICE CONSULTS WITH LEGAL ADVICE ARE AVAILABLE ON A FLAT FEE BASIS.