Water Intrusion Policy
The purpose of the Water Intrusion Policy (the “Policy”) is to prevent and mitigate damages and determine financial responsibility for water intrusion and mold infestation at the Association. It is important that all owners read and understand Crown Bay’s Water Intrusion Policy. Failure to follow the guidelines in this policy may result in a finding of Owner negligence with resulting financial liability to the Association and other affected Owners.
1. Maintenance Responsibilities
1.1. Common Area. The Association is responsible for maintaining and repairing the Common Area. Upon demand by the Association, owners are financially responsible for any damage to Common Area caused by the willful or negligent act of any Owner or tenants, which is not covered by insurance.
1.2. Exclusive Use Common Area (patios and balconies). Owners are responsible for maintaining any patio or balcony appurtenant to their Unit.
1.3. Separate Interest Units.
A “Unit” is composed of a separate interest in space, the improvements and fixtures contained within the finished interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors, roofs, windows, and doors. Owners are responsible for maintaining and repairing their separate interest Units including all owner-maintained components, fixtures, improvements and personal property within each Unit. Important: Any water intrusion affecting the perimeter walls of a Unit is very likely affecting Common Area.
Owner-maintained components include, but are not limited to, refrigerators, water filters, ice makers, laundry machines, dishwashers, toilets, sinks, bathtubs, showers, faucets, and any and all plumbing, electrical, heating systems, air conditioning systems, smoke detectors, and/or security systems servicing the Unit.
Fixtures and improvements include, but are not limited to, appliances, cabinets, carpets, tile, crown molding, base boards, curtains, and blinds.
2.1. The Association maintains insurance for the Common Area.
2.2. Owners may – and should – insure their separate interest Units and the improvements and personal property therein. Owners who lease their Units should require their tenants to obtain renter’s insurance. Owners and tenants should not expect the Association to make or pay for any repairs to separate interest Units, or personal property regardless of the source of water intrusion.
3. Owners to Conduct Periodic Preventative Inspections of Units
3.1. Owners are required to conduct reasonable and periodic inspections of their Units and the owner-maintained components within their Units, to reduce the risk that their Unit will be the source of any water intrusion. Owners are further encouraged to maintain a log to document these inspections.
3.2. Owners are required to take reasonable precautions to prevent the accumulation of water inside or outside his/her Unit, and the Exclusive Use Common Area appurtenant to his/her Unit. This includes cleaning any clogged drains within the Unit and any Exclusive Use Common Area patio or balcony appurtenant to the Unit.
3.3. Owners who plan to leave their Unit vacant for extended periods of time must make arrangements to have their Unit periodically inspected during their absence. Some of the most damaging water intrusions occur when Units are vacant.
4. Owners’ Affirmative Duty to Notify Association in the Event of a Water Leak
4.1. All Owners must immediately notify the Association’s community manager in the event of a water leak affecting their Unit – regardless of the source of the leak – which has also affected or may affect the Common Area or another Unit. Owners who have leased their Units are under a duty to provide their tenants with the community manager’s contact information and to instruct their tenants in writing that any water leak should be reported immediately.
4.2. Failure of an Owner or tenant to promptly report a leak affecting their Unit to the Association’s community manager within 24 hours of when the leak was discovered, or should have been discovered, will give rise to a presumption that the Owner has acted negligently, and may result in the Owner being found partially or entirely responsible for damages caused or exacerbated by the failure to promptly report the leak.
5. Emergency Water Leak Repair and Remediation
Sometimes it is inevitable that residents need emergency assistance with a water leak incident. In such cases, the following protocol should be observed:
5.1. First: Call the Association’s emergency maintenance hotline.
5.2. Only licensed contractors are permitted to work within Crown Bay. If you need emergency leak services, it is critical to ensure that any contractor you have working within your Unit is licensed, bonded, and insured. Owners are responsible for any damage to Common Area caused by their contractors.
5.3. Document any emergency repairs with photos and detailed reports from contractors. Often times during an emergency water leak it is difficult to know whether the leak has affected Common Area or another Unit. It is important that any emergency repairs are documented and that such documentation is preserved so that it may be provided to the Association and to affected insurers.
6. Mold Remediation
6.1. Drying out affected areas after a water intrusion incident is vitally important. If any components within a Unit have been wet for more than 48 hours, Owners are required to retain a licensed mold remediation contractor to test for mold.
6.2. If a perimeter wall has been wet for longer than 24 hours, it is critical to notify the Association so that the walls can be tested for mold. There is rarely insurance coverage for mold issues. Failure to timely report moisture in a perimeter wall, may result in the Owner being found negligent and liable to the Association for all costs of mold remediation.
7. Financial Responsibility for Repairing Damages Caused by Water
In most cases, the Association will not be financially responsible for water damage caused to a Unit regardless of the source of water intrusion.
7.1. Damage to a Unit Caused by Water Leaking from Within the Same Unit or Appurtenant Exclusive Use Common Area. Damage from within a Unit caused to the Unit, or improvements, fixtures and/or personal property within the same Unit, is the responsibility of that Unit Owner.
7.2. Damage from Within a Unit or Appurtenant Exclusive Use Common Area to the Common Area. Except to the extent covered by insurance carried by the Association, if the Board determines that any Common Area, Association property, or common improvements, have been damaged from an event or cause originating within a Unit (such as a plumbing leak, overflowing toilet, spill, etc.), then the cost of the necessary repairs or restoration to the Common Area shall be the responsibility of the Owner of that Unit.
Prior to making a determination that the Owner is liable for damages caused, the Owner shall be entitled to a hearing before the Board to determine whether the damage was in fact caused by the Owner, his/her tenants, or guests. In addition to any other relevant facts, the Board may take into account, the Owner’s failure to reasonably and periodically inspect his or her Unit, and whether the Association was timely notified of the water intrusion, when making a determination of liability.
If the Board finds that the damage to the Common Area was the result of the negligence or willful act of the Owner or the Owner’s guests or tenants, the Association may impose a special assessment against that Owner for all damages, including payment of any applicable Association insurance deductible.
7.3. Damage from Within a Unit to Another Unit. If a Unit, or the fixtures, improvements, or personal property within a Unit, have been damaged from an event that occurred within another Unit, the Owner of the damaged Unit is responsible for having the repairs and/or restoration completed.
The Owner of the damaged Unit is responsible for obtaining all compensation from the Owner of the Unit that caused the damage. Damage of this nature is an “Owner-to-Owner” issue. The Association, the Board, and/or community manager, are not responsible for coordinating or obtaining compensation on behalf of Owners with respect to claims against other Owners.
7.4. Damage from a Common Area Source to a Unit. Except to the extent covered by insurance, if a Unit is damaged from an event or cause that originated within the Common Area, the Association shall repair the Common Area and the Owner remains responsible for repair and restoration of all elements of his/her Unit and the fixtures, improvements, and personal property, within the Unit.
8. Relocation Costs are Responsibility of Owners
In no event shall the Association be responsible for relocation costs for any residents within Crown Bay during the time repairs are being made to the Common Area or any Unit, regardless of the source of water intrusion or other damage. All relocation costs are to be borne by the Owner of the affected Unit. Under no circumstances will the Association be liable for damages for loss-of-use of the Unit, for mortgage or rent reimbursement, or any other similar damages.