Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Mold Under the Floor - Who is Responsible for the damages?

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I really hope that you can help me. I am begging for your help, please. I have concerns about the mold that has developed under my hardwood floors because of a leak that my neighbor had from his washer last year. I live in an apartment style condo and the Board has insisted that I get this fixed because of the health hazard. Now I am looking at remediation (removal of mold) by professionals at my expense have been told by the Board that I then need to sue my neighbor to recoup my loses. The condo board is saying that it is my fault that mold is growing because I did not get my floor fixed by my neighbor yet and thus mold has developed in that time. I had no idea about mold issues and no one on the board or the management company made me aware of these dangers, if they did I would never of let this happen. I have since been told that the board was responsible per the Act and the Bylaws, unfortunately no one will look these documents over to prove this and I cannot clearly understand the technical jargon. Please I desperately need someone's help and you are the only place I know and trust to turn. I will pay a fee if someone could just take a few moments to confirm were the responsibility lies. I don't know where else to go. I know that the board is very inexperienced and our condo manager just moved here from another country and has already been chastised for giving me erroneous information and it is this same person that is advising the board. I very much need assistance


Dear S.

This is a situation that could happen to anyone, unsuspectedly. There is not enough information in the hands of owners and board members regarding molds and toxins in the home, and how quick molds can form (in as little as 72 hours). This happens to be an area of great interest to me. Here is the address to a blog that provides information on wellness , which includes some information on toxins in the home, www.advocatesfromwellness.com, and read the February 2005 issue of the Condo E-magazine at www.condo-check.com .

With regards to who is responsible. The wording in your condominium bylaws is going to have an impact on determining who is responsible as well as the Insurance provisions in condominium Property Act and Regulations of Alberta, and the record kept by the board of directors in attending to the original water damage repair.

The Condominium Property Act of Alberta and the condominium Property Regulations, in particular, Part 6 which specifically states that the Corporation must place and maintain insurance against the following perils: fire; leakage from fire protective equipment; lightning;smoke;windstorm;hail;explosion of natural, coal or manufactured gas; water damage caused by flood; water damage caused by sewer back-up or the sudden and accidental escape of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, sprinkler or air conditioning system or a domestic appliance that is located within an insured building,.... And any other perils as required by bylaws.

I believe what this wording is saying is that the Corporation is to insure for the accidental escape of water from a domestic appliance, as in this case. The question remaining is was the escape accidental or negligence on the part of your neighbor? In the case of negligence the neigbour may be responsible for the damages that resulted.

We are not insurance specialists, which is where this problem falls. From our years of experience I would suggest the following: Ask the Board of Directors for the information that was obtained when the leak happened and for a copy of the reasoning for their conclusion that this was an owners problem. Inquire as to if the corporation insurance company was notified or not? Insurance companies typically notify the board and the owners of the potential hazard of mold occurring when there are water leaks and provide assistance in preventing the damage from expanding.

Worse case, if the board did inform you, when the leak occurred, that you were responsible for negotiating the repair of the damage with your neigbour, and you did nothing, even if they did not mention future damage risks, they may argue that you would at miniumum be responsible for the added damage that occurred when the problem was left unremedied.

I suggest you get the mold removed as quick as is possible as your health may be at risk. Contact the insurance company that carries your personal policy. They will most likely assist you in assessing who is responsible for the damages and may cover the remedy. You won't know until you speak with them.

In the interim, obtain the information from the board. Allow them a reasonable time to get this to you, 10 days should be sufficient. You may choose to have a conversation with your neighbor about what he did to remedy the problem and explore the options regarding his willingness to assisting you in the cost of the repairs, and have a talk with your personal insurance carrier.

Once you have acquired the above information, give Louise a call at Condo-Check and she will be able to assist you in choosing the best plan of action to resolve this matter.


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At February 12, 2007 at 10:25 PM, Blogger joe nug said...

I am a condo owner in Edmonton. This is regarding levy fees for doing repairs on the outside of the building. Can the board change the siding on the building by imposing a levy or do they have to stay with the original cedar siding.

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At November 10, 2009 at 5:22 AM, Blogger NYCmoldRemoval said...

Molds under the floor can be very dangerous. Several mold removal sessions can prevent further damages.

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At July 17, 2012 at 9:53 PM, Blogger vinealle said...

This is a situation that could happen to anyone, unsuspectedly. -- Very well said on this. I believe no one wants to go into this kind of trouble. I myself really appreciated the reply.


At September 6, 2012 at 1:10 PM, Blogger StephaniePumphrey said...

If you favor to not use vinegar, or within the unlikely event that the vinegar doesn't utterly eliminate the odor, there are industrial enzyme cleaners accessible which will take away the odor a lot of effectively. Make certain to scan the label before employing a cleaner and check it on a little spot that may not be seen to confirm it'll not stain or bleach the material.


At December 5, 2012 at 6:10 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Besides wasting your time on the point that who is responsible for it better try something to remove it, mold usually grow in winter season due to damp weather, do look for leakages as they are the root cause for it.

At August 26, 2015 at 8:55 AM, Blogger Secretary said...

We have a mold issue in our townhouse condo complex where owners did not report the mold. Our insurance will not cover the cost and we are forced to do an assessment of 5000 per unit some of the cost we can put back on the owners but the total costs have to be paid in full and the board has to collect from the owners. Put us in a difficult financial situation thus the assessment. Our reserve fund could not handle the costs as there were 3 units in a short amount of time as well as numerous basement cracks.

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At April 11, 2018 at 1:57 AM, Blogger M.A. Restoration Inc. said...

Mold is all around us, there is no escaping it. When it comes to mold there is a lot of misinformation floating around out there. Just mentioning the word mold can send people into a state of panic. Mold can be a serious problem, but with a little common sense and the right information, you can learn how to separate the facts from the myths and make good decisions when dealing with mold removal in your Worcester home. At M.A. Restoration Inc., we provide full mold removal services in Worcester, where mold growth and mold spores are carefully removed and the area effectively cleaned.

At April 26, 2018 at 4:58 AM, Blogger ERX Emergency Restoration Experts said...

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