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Condo above mine flooded and has possibly caused damage - should i involve insurance

adeel

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Hi,

We have a rental condo. Yesterday evening my tenant informed me that the unit above mine had major flooding (on Saturday) as a result of some washer machine problem, and there is some visible damage (and who knows how much non-visible damage) that has taken place.

The condo corp had water damage restoration people in saturday to take a look, but no action has been taken to do anything. The property manager will be in there tomorrow.

I have rented condo insurance through atrens counsel insurance brokers, underwritten by intact.

I know that water damage can be bad, so I want to protect my investment. I am looking for feedback as to what I should do. I am not happy with the condo management right now and don't trust them either. If I do anything through insurance what are the implications?

Will my premiums rise, or will I have trouble renewing my policy? I stress that there is no way we are at fault for this at all.

Also, suggestions as to what kind of action to fix/mitigate damages would be great...not something I need to be dealing with now, but what can you do..

I feel like I should be doing something, but not sure what...
 
Hi,

We have a rental condo. Yesterday evening my tenant informed me that the unit above mine had major flooding (on Saturday) as a result of some washer machine problem, and there is some visible damage (and who knows how much non-visible damage) that has taken place.

The condo corp had water damage restoration people in saturday to take a look, but no action has been taken to do anything. The property manager will be in there tomorrow.

I have rented condo insurance through atrens counsel insurance brokers, underwritten by intact.

I know that water damage can be bad, so I want to protect my investment. I am looking for feedback as to what I should do. I am not happy with the condo management right now and don't trust them either. If I do anything through insurance what are the implications?

Will my premiums rise, or will I have trouble renewing my policy? I stress that there is no way we are at fault for this at all.

Also, suggestions as to what kind of action to fix/mitigate damages would be great...not something I need to be dealing with now, but what can you do..

I feel like I should be doing something, but not sure what...

I am no expert but my guess is that management, if it's halfway intelligent, is checking the building's insurance policy to see whether it's worth declaring or not. If you have a broker, you should do the same and ask, if you go ahead and do the work and wait for management to repay, will that work against you with your policy. You really should try to fix the damage before the mold gets in.

I assume that the visible damage is to the ceiling, which may be drywall or stucco. Note that it doesn't always immediately show up so don't rush into anything.

Good luck.
 
I am no expert but my guess is that management, if it's halfway intelligent, is checking the building's insurance policy to see whether it's worth declaring or not. If you have a broker, you should do the same and ask, if you go ahead and do the work and wait for management to repay, will that work against you with your policy. You really should try to fix the damage before the mold gets in.

I assume that the visible damage is to the ceiling, which may be drywall or stucco. Note that it doesn't always immediately show up so don't rush into anything.

Good luck.

You should certainly call your insurance ASAP, if it was an overflowing washer it will probably be the washer owner's insurance that will pay (rather than the condo corporations insurance). Your Property Manger ought to be able to help and they too may be claiming from your upstairs neighbour for damage to common elements. It is good they had a restoration company in fairly fast as much damage can be minimised if it is quickly dried out.
 
When I used to live in a condo, I had the shut-off values to the washing machine raised to be ABOVE the machines. I always shut-off the values when I am not present in the apartment, turning them on ONLY when I'm using them. Did the same when I moved into a house.

One problem that I wish I did to the condo would have been to add a drain on the laundry room floor or at least under the washing machine. Just in case. Apparently, a drain was not required then, don't know about the current building code requirements.
 
surprise surprise, per the intact claim hotline this kind of damage is not covered...i did not get a chance to speak to my broker, but I definitely need to give him a call tomorrow and make sure..guy on phone did not sound much like he knew what he was talking about
 
any suggestions as to how I can get the flooding responsible unit owners contact information? I've requested from the property manager, but I wonder if that is a privacy issue. Short of knocking on their door (and even then that could have mixed results) is there another way to get their information? A public registry or something perhaps?
 
surprise surprise, per the intact claim hotline this kind of damage is not covered...i did not get a chance to speak to my broker, but I definitely need to give him a call tomorrow and make sure..guy on phone did not sound much like he knew what he was talking about
If you have the standard Intact "Comprehensive Condominium Insurance" - as I do - you should be covered for Water Damage. Read your policy and talk to your broker.
 
I would speak to the unit owner above and property management. The insurance coverage from the unit owner above should cover damages to your unit. I was involved in a similar situation with one of my units, I discussed the situation with the owner of the unit above and property management and repairs to my unit were covered by the policy of the unit owner above.
 
how can i contact the owner? they dont actually live in the unit, it is rented out

prop manager wont give me contact info
 
The owner of your upstairs neighbor's unit is ultimately responsible. You are no way responsible at all.
You neighbour's landlord may go after them if they were operating their washer improperly, but that's not your problem or business. The property manager is only responsible in coordinating communication between you and your neighbour's landlord to get the damages resolved.
You should only resort to your insurance company as a last resort, as you don't want a claim (whether it's your fault or not) to be on your insurance record.

If your property manager won't give you the landlord's contact information, they should at least act as a liasson or middleman to get the issue resolved. The property manager may not want to do that as it is more work and hassle for them and there are bound to be some communication gaps in the process which will be bad for you. You could get the landlord's contact information through their tenant. If the tenant refuses to give that information you could go after them for the damages -- they may change their mind if given that option especially if they have no renter's insurance.

A similar incident happened to one of my condos. The washing machine of my next door unit overflowed when the tenants were not home, which caused a huge flood to their unit and the unit below theirs. There was some water seepage to my upstairs level, but luckily I had polished concrete floors so the only thing that got soaked was the drywall but less than two square feet of the wall along the floor and I had no furniture against that wall. I had to run some fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the wall and to prevent mould from forming -- there were no damage or expenses on my part.
My neighbour's insurance company was nice enough to call me and my neighbours immediately out of the blue to ask if we need to claim any damages or expenses through them, but I don't think many insurance companies will proactively do that for anyone other than their customer. I believe they were from Farmer's Insurance Company and I was impressed with their level of service and courtesy.
 
Thanks.

I agree with what you have written - my insurance broker said my insurance won't do anything anyways, so thats not even an option.

The prop manager is not really willing to do anything beyond what has already been done - my understanding is all expenses are being charged to that unit and that units insurance is covering or otherwise unit owner is responsible - I think I will have to threaten a lawsuit or taking to small claims court and tell that I want the landlord (or his insurance) to get in touch with me, and have the property manager communicate that to them so it scares them into getting in touch.

I may try talking to the tenants, but as I don't live there, im not sure how lucky I will be to stop by when they happen to be home...even if they are home, they may not want to speak to me anyways..without getting the owners info it becomes difficult to proceed in a manner that is fair to me
 
my concern now is less the visible damage, and more so whats going on behind the walls and in the hvac.

respondplus (www.respondplus.ca) was in there on Saturday and a visual assessment with no moisture meter readings resulted in a conclusion of only minor damage and no fans being necessary.

They were back in on Tuesday, where my understanding is they did moisture readings and came to a conclusion that there were no significant readings - so by them (and the prop manager) case closed, no more further action necessary.

However, my tenant originally said on saturday, when this occurred: "There is water infiltration in two distinct areas, one is on the ceiling and walls around the front hallway and kitchen. The water restoration person recommended making holes in the drywall in this area and running fans for a few days. The second affected area is is at the heat pump and the surrounding walls. It sounds like there is water splashing in the fan housing. The heat pump should probably be disassembled and water removed. Also running fans in the wall should be done. I was able to hear where the water was leaking when it happened, and think it's pretty much limited to these two areas."

His statement re water company conclusion to make holes in drywall and run fans is he said/she said since the work order of respond plus states no fans necessary...so I have no way to prove what the technician recommended at the time...the water in fan housing is what is causing the issue now.

He also communicated to the property manager: "The heat pump makes a splashing noise when the fan is operated as a result of the flooding. As far as I know, it's fully operational, but I don't want to damage it by operating it with water trapped inside."

What he emailed to me after: "There is clearly water splashing around inside when I turn on the fan. I haven't tried turning on the heater, and won't be trying it, since it's more moving parts that can get damaged. As I said, the visible damage is minimal, but only the experts will be able to tell what's going on behind the walls."

From the property manager after I yelled at him...received this on Wednesday: please find two reports from Respond Plus regarding water damage in your suite. You will see that no damage has been reported and hence no equipment was installed in your suite.

Then I got this email from my tenant, which is the primary issue/concern now: "I forgot to mention, please also have mould remediation done on the heat pump. It's been longer than the 48-72 hour grace period for mould growth and the HVAC is one of those areas that is dangerous if not treated."




I'm not running the heat pump or fan since this would probably spread the water around and possibly cause more damage.

"The heat pump makes a splashing noise when the fan is operated as a result of the flooding. As far as I know, it's fully operational, but I don't want to damage it by operating it with water trapped inside. Removing the trapped water is a priority item for me because we are to have -15C to -20C weather starting tonight and the unit will get quite cold."

---

Water in heat pump/fan has not been addressed. The heat pump was to be serviced yesterday but the guy did not show up...i dont even know if the guy was qualified to remove water from the heat pump/fan anyways.

Given all this, I am looking for suggestions as to what to do next, and who tocall next...an HVAC company? A water damage restoration company? A mold company? I have no idea...
 
Sounds pretty complex. I think it's most important to get the water damage resolved as soon as possible so that mold does not establish themselves.
A reputable and experienced water/flood damage company will inspect everything holistically and will do all necessary remedial repairs and moisture mitigation, or give a report to refer other services if they are not able to do it themselves. They should also be able to give advice on going after your neighbour's landlord as I'm sure they have dealt with many cases like this.

Good luck!
 
Hi,
Its an old thread but want to find out what the resolution was as i have a very similar issue. Any advice appreciated.

The tenants of the condo next to me, they broke their sprinkler because the had things hanging on it and caused a major flat to 7 units as the sprinkl;er was spraying for close to an hour before it was shut off my firefighters. Half of my unit flatted from water entering from the hallway. and the room adjacent to the neighbors room with the sprinkler flatted from the wall.

The building send people to dry the units and remove the bottom parts of the dray wall right away. I havent talk to the managment yet because its still a weekend.
Extremely silly me i dont have insurance. i wanted to change, i cancelled my existing one to make new one but havent gotten around it for a couple of months.
Who is supposed to fix my flooring? i know my insurance would have probably done that. But i am not insured and this flatting was not my fault. It happend by negligence ? who do i seek help from? Laywer? if i quickly make a new insurance now could they handle talking to hte insurance of the neighbor even though the damage is prior?
 

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