Real Estate

Flooding in condo from unit above (again!)

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 8th, 2019 11:18 am
[OP]
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Dec 19, 2007
1584 posts
248 upvotes
Toronto

Flooding in condo from unit above (again!)

I arrived home this afternoon to high humidity and the sound of an exhaust fan in our condo. I went to our master bath, found an industrial blower, and significant water damage to our ceiling spread across a wide area. We had a similar problem approximately 1 month ago (on a Friday no less) but without the blower or as much damage.

I spoke to security and they have indicated it was THE SAME UNIT that caused the flooding (2 floors above) caused by the same ridiculous reason. Ready? They let their bathtub overflow!!!!! The damage has leaked through multiple floors and I'm not sure of the extent in other units.

Insurance aside, and while I'm not a litigious person, at what point does some type of homeowner negligence come into play (especially given the close time frames of the events and how specific and frank of an oversight this is). It's certainly not a stretch to see how this person/family could cause say a fire leaving a pot on the stove (as an example) if they have done what they have done within the last month. I'm certainly going to be approaching the condo board/management regarding this owner/tenant and may approach other effected unit owners regarding this issues.

I'm just wondering if anyone can shed some light or has had a similar experience.

EDIT - Insurance has already come through. They are assessing other unit damage, but will be in and out of ours over the next couple of hours. They are opening up the ceiling to prevent mold.
15 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 12, 2014
2544 posts
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Laval
even though the Insurance has already come through, you might take a hit on the value of your property since it has been flooded twice , I would talk to some real estate agents to see if it affect the value of your condo and if so I would seek damages .
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2007
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2Riskit wrote:
Apr 5th, 2019 7:46 pm
even though the Insurance has already come through, you might take a hit on the value of your property since it has been flooded twice , I would talk to some real estate agents to see if it affect the value of your condo and if so I would seek damages .
You will only be able to sue for damages if you can prove that you suffered a loss. You may want to consider selling and then you can "lock in" your damages. There is a high likelihood that this will happen again so why not use this opportunity to cash out, so to speak.
Jr. Member
Nov 5, 2009
121 posts
76 upvotes
2Riskit wrote:
Apr 5th, 2019 7:46 pm
even though the Insurance has already come through, you might take a hit on the value of your property since it has been flooded twice , I would talk to some real estate agents to see if it affect the value of your condo and if so I would seek damages .
No there is no loss in value. It sounds like a minor flood. It may seem big to the OP but its limited to one small area. Where it would affect the condo value is if the deductibles for insurance were being used to the point that the costs are getting out of control.

No one will know there was a flood once its patched and cleaned.
choclover wrote:
Apr 6th, 2019 10:11 am
You will only be able to sue for damages if you can prove that you suffered a loss. You may want to consider selling and then you can "lock in" your damages. There is a high likelihood that this will happen again so why not use this opportunity to cash out, so to speak.
Your job is to minimize your damages if it comes to a court case. Selling just to take a loss may not work as you think. A minor flood will not cause the value of his condo to drop.

Now if the board minutes show floods all the time that could negatively affect a sale.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2010
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930 upvotes
Property management can fine and charge them for the cost of repair.
[OP]
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Dec 19, 2007
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Toronto
As an update...

- We're not moving (for many reasons). This negligence has effected 14+ floors worth of units.
- The condo's insurance company has been through the building thus far (that's who has come in). To my knowledge the at fault party pays a hefty deductible (5 figures minimum). Twice now presumably in a month. I don't know if it's an owner or renter.
- Also to the best of my knowledge, the building insurance only covers restoration to "builder basic". And I believe the "builder basic" is literally when this building was constructed (it's 20+ years old).
- The flooding is major. The company came in late last night and said the ceiling in the bathroom is unsafe. They removed the majority of the baseboards and ceiling. When they initially cut into the ceiling, it was like Niagara falls.

We were relatively close to the point of origin. They finished up with us at roughly 10:30 last night and still had 10+ floors to check and do similar if needed...
Deal Addict
Oct 7, 2007
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spintheblackcircle wrote:
Apr 6th, 2019 3:01 pm
As an update...

- We're not moving (for many reasons). This negligence has effected 14+ floors worth of units.
- The condo's insurance company has been through the building thus far (that's who has come in). To my knowledge the at fault party pays a hefty deductible (5 figures minimum). Twice now presumably in a month. I don't know if it's an owner or renter.
- Also to the best of my knowledge, the building insurance only covers restoration to "builder basic". And I believe the "builder basic" is literally when this building was constructed (it's 20+ years old).
- The flooding is major. The company came in late last night and said the ceiling in the bathroom is unsafe. They removed the majority of the baseboards and ceiling. When they initially cut into the ceiling, it was like Niagara falls.

We were relatively close to the point of origin. They finished up with us at roughly 10:30 last night and still had 10+ floors to check and do similar if needed...
If you've decided you're not moving (and I've been there before myself but not in a condo situation) then I guess the next best thing to do is to document everything and make sure repairs are done to your satisfaction. Maybe even ask if there is some kind of warranty on the work in case it fails in the future. If and when you decide to sell you can always inform the next purchaser of what happened, who did the work and let them know that they can contact the contractor in the unlikely event that they have any issues.
Sr. Member
May 18, 2008
734 posts
87 upvotes
Toronto
What a mess. They went into your unit without notifying or attempting to contact you first?
Jr. Member
Nov 5, 2009
121 posts
76 upvotes
Kaeoue wrote:
Apr 7th, 2019 10:56 am
What a mess. They went into your unit without notifying or attempting to contact you first?
In an emergency they have every right to enter your condo.
Jr. Member
Nov 5, 2009
121 posts
76 upvotes
spintheblackcircle wrote:
Apr 6th, 2019 3:01 pm
As an update...

- We're not moving (for many reasons). This negligence has effected 14+ floors worth of units.
- The condo's insurance company has been through the building thus far (that's who has come in). To my knowledge the at fault party pays a hefty deductible (5 figures minimum). Twice now presumably in a month. I don't know if it's an owner or renter.
- Also to the best of my knowledge, the building insurance only covers restoration to "builder basic". And I believe the "builder basic" is literally when this building was constructed (it's 20+ years old).
- The flooding is major. The company came in late last night and said the ceiling in the bathroom is unsafe. They removed the majority of the baseboards and ceiling. When they initially cut into the ceiling, it was like Niagara falls.

We were relatively close to the point of origin. They finished up with us at roughly 10:30 last night and still had 10+ floors to check and do similar if needed...

I've dealt with a weird scenario for one of my condo boards one time that had multiple floods by the same owner. On the first flood it wrecked 7 units. 50k in damages. In Alberta condo boards can only charge back the owner up to the deductible in the building so the owner was on the hook for25k.

2 months later the owners dog bit a water line in his condo that he was personally fixing himself. Caused more damage again. Turned out he had no insurance. This flood wasnt as bad as the water was turned off quicker but again the owner was charged the maximum amount.

Situations like this suck for everyone involved.

You are right that the condo will replace only to the original spec. You would have a claim against the owner if you have to spend money out of pocket.

If I was on your condo board i would be trying to sort out if that's a renter or owner. If it was a renter I'd be starting the eviction process for the person causing the floods. If it's an owner causing the issues your in a tougher situation. One can evict an owner but it's difficult.... I'd prepare and warn the owner that the board would go this route if the floods continue.

If it was my unit affected multiple times I'd get together with other owners and file a claim so the owner realizes there are consequences. Doesnt need to be a crazy high claim but at least one that says if it happens again you'll be slapped with an even higher law suit.
Deal Addict
Nov 14, 2006
1587 posts
661 upvotes
GTA
@gwill211 maybe off topic but I'll ask ya, if a renter caused this damage does it go back to the renter's insurance ? As landlord insurance only covers damages within the unit ie. Kitchen cabinets, appliances, flooring etc. And the building insurance covers any damages outside the unit itself ? I know many landlord for condos that don't carry insurance as they don't worry about what's inside it due to age but make the renter's carry insurance.

As I've talked to many people and I get confusing answers as to if damages are caused outside the unit by the renter's who's insurance covers it , then if they decide to sue for more who do the other units sue, landlord or renter's?
Jr. Member
Nov 5, 2009
121 posts
76 upvotes
lilmikey wrote:
Apr 7th, 2019 3:25 pm
@gwill211 maybe off topic but I'll ask ya, if a renter caused this damage does it go back to the renter's insurance ? As landlord insurance only covers damages within the unit ie. Kitchen cabinets, appliances, flooring etc. And the building insurance covers any damages outside the unit itself ? I know many landlord for condos that don't carry insurance as they don't worry about what's inside it due to age but make the renter's carry insurance.

As I've talked to many people and I get confusing answers as to if damages are caused outside the unit by the renter's who's insurance covers it , then if they decide to sue for more who do the other units sue, landlord or renter's?
It's a bit tricky for me to answer this. In Alberta where I'm from the landlord is on the hook for anything the renter does.. yes the condo board will address any flood and deal with the repairs. The insurance companies will subrogate any damages amongst the affected parties. The insurance companies ultimately decide who's insurance will cover what charges. Yes the renters insurance would be first up but what if they dont have insurance? This happens all too often.

For losses outside of the insurance claim I'd imagine you would go after the renter and the owner.

For those of us in Alberta there are new condo act changes that take place later this year that allow condo boards to sue owners/renters for damages done in condos that cause big insurance claims. Up until these changes a renter could cause a $400k flood and the worst they could be charged was the deductible the condo board would pay for the flood which may be as low as $20k deductible. Later this year when the changes take effect a board can sue to recoup the entire repair bill if they want to go to court.

I'm sure Ontario has similar laws in place already.
Member
User avatar
Sep 6, 2018
212 posts
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Thats a lot of water damage...
Would that affect the structural integrity of the building ? such as rotting wood..or rust...
What about health hazards.. such as mold ?

spintheblackcircle wrote:
Apr 6th, 2019 3:01 pm
As an update...

- We're not moving (for many reasons). This negligence has effected 14+ floors worth of units.
- The condo's insurance company has been through the building thus far (that's who has come in). To my knowledge the at fault party pays a hefty deductible (5 figures minimum). Twice now presumably in a month. I don't know if it's an owner or renter.
- Also to the best of my knowledge, the building insurance only covers restoration to "builder basic". And I believe the "builder basic" is literally when this building was constructed (it's 20+ years old).
- The flooding is major. The company came in late last night and said the ceiling in the bathroom is unsafe. They removed the majority of the baseboards and ceiling. When they initially cut into the ceiling, it was like Niagara falls.

We were relatively close to the point of origin. They finished up with us at roughly 10:30 last night and still had 10+ floors to check and do similar if needed...

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