In (part 1) we discussed some of the types of claims that can arise when the Condominium Association fails to maintain the common elements. They can include:
“water damage from roof leaks, mold damage, fire from faulty electrical, noise complaints from roof top generators, inadequate water cooling towers causing unit owner air conditioning to malfunction, and of course there are the obvious claims like a resident or guest being injured due to inadequate security or a dangerous condition in the common areas of the building.”
In South Florida, water and mold damage seem to be one of the most common complaints by Condominium Owners against their Associations. Most cases begin with water intrusion due to the Association’s failure to maintain the roof and the roof elements which can include the drainage system. In many cases the Association hires a roofer and/or plumbing company to fix the cause of the leak. Unfortunately once water has intruded into the walls of the Condominium Unit simply repairing the cause of the leak does not always stop the growth of mold. Even if you can’t see mold, like in the picture above, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t being affected.
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA], [the U.S. Occupational and Safety Administration —OSHA], the American Lung Association and other groups have listed mold as a detriment to indoor air quality and building occupant health.”
Many Condominium Associations and Homeowner’s Associations respond to owner complaints by telling them that it is the owner’s responsibility to repair the interior of their home. Unfortunately for many Condominium Owners and Homeowners in Florida, their individual insurance policies either do not cover mold or have exclusions drastically limiting the amount of coverage available for mold damage. Moreover, the advice owners are getting from their Association Board members is often incorrect. While it may be true that owners are responsible for maintaining the interior of their homes that does not relieve the Association of its non-delegable duty to maintain the common elements.
Under Florida Law the Association is responsible for all damages proximately caused by its failure to maintain the common elements. Because the association’s duty is non-delegable the Association will have very few defenses to the owner’s claim.
Some of the various elements of damage that can be claimed are: loss of use; cleaning, restoration and rebuilding; mold remediation; reimbursement for property taxes for an unusable dwelling; replacement of fixtures, furniture and contents; damages for physical injuries and illnesses from living in a toxic environment; medical expenses and loss of rent.
Unfortunately very few owners are ever fully compensated when dealing with their Associations on their own. That’s why it is important to retain an experienced Florida Atorney that focuses on representing Condominium Owners, Co-op Owners and Homeowners resolve claims against their Associations. We fight for the rights of condo owners, homeowners and cooperative owners.
If you would like to get a confidential case evaluation from an experienced attorney click here now.