Water, Water Everywhere?
—Leaking in Lewiston
“The association, acting by the Board of Directors, is responsible for the common elements of the association,” explains attorney Franklin G. Pilicy of the law firm of Franklin G. Pilicy, P.C. in Watertown, Connecticut. “This includes maintenance, repair and replacement of common elements as needed to keep water out of the unit. In Connecticut there is case law confirming that the association is responsible to prevent water damage and to repair water damage where the association has failed to keep water out of a unit. Such damages may or may not include damage to personal property inside the unit. Each state’s laws and the specific facts surrounding the damage will govern the outcome; however, the general rule is that each unit owner is responsible for his or her own personal property.
“The fact that the board previously settled with the developer should have no bearing on the present problem. The board very well may have achieved the best settlement possible taking into account many factors including timeliness, statute of limitations and the financial condition of the developer. It is difficult to comment as to the insurance company because additional facts would be needed. In Connecticut, there is limited court precedent for a unit owner, as an additional insured, to bring a direct action against the insurance company. You should seek legal advice from local counsel on this issue.
“In addition to monetary damages being sought you may also request a court order for specific performance. Specifically, ordering the board to repair the common elements in order to keep water out of your unit.
“In addition to a civil suit against the association, you may also consider removing the Board of Directors. Review your association documents and state statutes and determine the proper procedure for removing members of the Board of Directors.”