Who Is Responsible For Plumbing In A Condo

This article discusses who is responsible for plumbing in a condo.

When you live in a house and you have a plumbing problem, it’s up to the homeowner to deal with it. When you live in an apartment and have a plumbing issue, you call the landlord. In a condo, it’s not as simple. A condo has properties of both a home and an apartment. Like a home, the owner owns the property outright, but like an apartment, there are shared spaces such as the hallways and recreation areas that are owned by the building. And while there is no landlord, there is a Homeowner’s Association who is responsible for some repairs. So the question is, who is responsible for plumbing in a condo? Is it the condo owner or the HOA? This is not so cut and dry. And while some principles are universal, others may change from building to building. Read on to find out more.

What Are the Basics?

When considering, in a condo, who is responsible for plumbing, the general rule is that condo owners are responsible for any damage that occurs within the condo while it’s the HOA’s responsibility to deal with damage outside of the condo. Therefore, if there is any damage done to the floor and walls of the unit that may have been due to a plumbing issue, the condo owner would need to pick up the tab. The same goes for any plumbing appliances such as toilets, sinks, tubs, etc. However, the pipes of the plumbing system are located in the walls of the building outside the unit. They are considered a part of the common area of the building. Hence, if a pipe bursts, it is the association’s responsibility to fix it.
who is responsible for plumbing in a condo

It Can Get Tricky

So far, the issue of who is responsible for plumbing in a condo seems pretty cut and dry, but it can get tricky. When it comes to plumbing, for instance, even though the branch lines are contained in the wall, they serve a particular unit. Therefore, they may be considered part of the unit’s property. There can also be confusion in terms of where the equipment is located considering the intersection of the wall. This often brings grey areas when damage occurs to windows, air conditioners, and air conditioner sleeves within the wall. Alterations can also cause weirdness. Alterations are usually done by specific rules and regulations and are considered to be entirely the owner’s responsibility. With this in mind, when damages occur, it should be easy to find who is responsible, but conflicts can arise.

in a condo who is responsible for plumbing

Clarity Is Important

One way to avoid confusion as to who is responsible for plumbing in a condo is to make it clear from the beginning. When residents move in, they should be given documents that clearly state the building’s rules and regulations in terms of who is responsible for damages. But even here, confusion can arise. The association might pick up the bill for a certain repair because they are trying to be nice, and then it backfires on them because the owner assumes they are responsible for all damages in the condo. There could also be a lack of clarity when defining common areas as opposed to what’s considered part of the unit. If an association finds that many of its condo owners are confused by the language in their documents, they may choose to seek out an attorney to amend them.