Ask CCOC: Answers To Questions About Condo Insurance

QUESTION

1. Can a board of directors assess a unit owner the cost of the deductible?
2. I was told by my association that I was responsible for the master policy deductible. I cannot find anything in our declaration, bylaws, or rules that supports this.

RESPONSE

CIOA Sec. 47-257
“the statute dictates the method by which an association can charge back to a unit owner(s) the association’s deductible under its master policy. There are three ways. If the loss was due to the unit owner’s:
(1) willful misconduct,
(2) gross negligence or
(3) their failure to comply with the association’s written maintenance standard.
CIOA, Sec. 47-257 clearly defines the process the association shall follow providing a unit owner with a notice and hearing
QUESTION

1. If unit owners fail to maintain their hot water heater, can an association mandate the unit owner must pay for all repairs/damages?
2. It is the board’s position that it is unit owner’s responsibility to maintain their hot water heater.

RESPONSE

Has your association adopted Maintenance, Repair & Replacement Standards? If you have not and, in the future, work toward achieving that goal, you need to be aware that:
• These standards will need to be adopted as part of your association rules following the process set forth by CIOA

• You cannot use these standards to alter any maintenance and repair responsibilities as set forth your Declaration. For example:

If the Association is tasked with maintaining and repairing “XYZ” in the Declaration, you cannot shift the responsibility to the unit owners in the maintenance standards. You would need to amend the Declaration first.

The objective of rules enforcement is compliance not punishment. Rules are in place setting standards for all residents of the common interest community. When contemplating the issues stated herein, it may be prudent to seek the advice of legal counsel for your Association.

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6 Responses to Ask CCOC: Answers To Questions About Condo Insurance

  1. Deborah says:

    I reviewed our declarations and by-laws in there is nothing specifically mentioned about hot-water heaters being a common or limited common element. Although because the hot water heater serves only that unit, it would NOT be considered a common element according to our documents. Our property manager automatically filed the claim without BOD review, and without consideration of whether the hot water heater meets the criteria of a common element or not.

  2. Deborah says:

    The insurance proceeds were paid to the Association. As a BOD president I am asking for repair invoices from the unit owner before we reimburse them. Is this a legitimate request? What if the costs of repair were less than the proceeds, can the association retain the surplus and deposit into insurance fund?

  3. ConstantReader says:

    From my experience, there is no such thing as “maintenance of a hot water heater”. They either heat the water or they don’t. By their very nature, they have a limited life span and will fail in service without warning. Failure could mean that they stop heating water, or have a major leak which may cause water damage to adjoining units. The unit owner could be held liable for damage repairs, but not for negligence, IMHO.

  4. Nancy says:

    As a unit owner, do I have the right to make a formal complaint at the state level against my board AND property mgmt company? We have not had proper insurance for the past year and possibly longer, and the board has intentionally ignored the situation. We discovered that our property mgmt group has falsified deck page insurance information and we the unit owners have 3 significant pieces of evidence to back our claim. What recourse do we have? Thank you

    • Nancy: State agencies will not investigate boards but will investigate property managers. I suggest you provide the state Dept of Consumer Protection with the evidence against the property manager.

  5. Pam says:

    our assoc. master policy just paid out a big claim and now our master ins. Is dropping us what happens next ? Are the owners responsible for paying any part of the master Ins. Policy ?

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