Condominium Insurance claims can turn into a confusing long winding road where nobody i.e. neighbor, insurance company, and the association wants to take responsibility.
More often than not, water damage and mold damage cause the majority of Condominium Insurance claims. Water damage and Mold Damage in your condominium unit can cause damage to your kitchen, bathroom, floors, baseboards, and drywall.
What most Association and unit owners do not realize is MORE OFTEN than not the Association is responsible for all drywall within a unit.
This is an extremely important point so let me repeat this one more time, MORE OFTEN than not the Association IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL DRYWALL within a unit.
The Association usually will DENY they have any responsibility to repair and replace drywall, however, THEY DO!! The gray area comes into play when dealing with Mold Damage, but again, they would be better off served to call in, take immediate action, and pay for the water mitigation and mold remediation so that it doesn’t cause additional damages to other areas within the condominium and the structural integrity of the entire building.
Why does the Association refuse to take responsibility for drywall?
There are a few reasons for this from what I have experienced:
- The President and Board Members really don’t know the laws
- The Association and Management Company know the laws but deliberately refuse to pay
- The Association and Management Company have been misinformed on the laws
- The Association and Management Company have interpreted the Florida Condominium Act wrongly
- The Association and Management Company wants you to make the claim to your insurance company
This is why so many unit owners get confused, frustrated, and feel helpless.
Let’s take a closer look at #5 from the above points. The issue here is that most insurance companies will not pay for drywall because they know that the Florida Condominium Act specifically states that unit owners are not responsible for drywall.
What is the Florida Condominium Act?
718.111 The association.
What part of the Florida Condominium Act makes it explicitly clear that the Association is responsible for drywall?
3. The coverage must 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 which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance thereupon is the responsibility of the unit owner.
Let’s dissect the above language, specifically the bolded words “Floor, wall, and ceiling coverings”
But wait, it states right there that the Association is not responsible for the Floor, Wall, or Ceiling? Read deeper into this! The Key Word is “Coverings” which means the following:
a. paint, tile, wallpaper that you have on your walls NOT the drywall itself
b. your carpet, tile, wood floors NOT the sub flooring
c. the paint, popcorn ceiling, venetian plaster NOT the ceiling itself whether drywall, plaster, etc…
Hopefully, you can see clearly now that the Association plays a very big part in its responsibility for the drywall when it comes to water damage and mold damage that happened in your unit. Condominium Insurance claims are complex and confusing so I would also get help with by hiring a competent public adjuster when its needed.