WHO IS REALLY AT FAULT in a property dispute?
When property damage occurs inside a strata property or a Co-Op Unit or even a rental Unit, determining blame can be a tricky business! Be sure to hire an Independent Consultant to make certain responsibility is fairly determined!
Recently our team was called out to a Co-op development where a resident was having a dispute with the management. The key issue was who was responsible for excessive moisture in the unit, which had saturated the carpet and had caused water-damage to the wall wood framing and drywall. The damage was extensive and required an immediate and expensive clean- up. It had ruined the carpet, warped the counter baseboards and mold was already beginning to develop.
There was great dissention about who was responsible for paying to clean up this mess and finger pointing. The management board had hired an engineer to investigate the source of the moisture. The engineer had opened the drywall and came to the conclusion that, since the wall cavity was not wet from above, the moisture was due to condensation. In essence, they were saying that the moisture was the resident’s fault for not properly ventilating the suite and managing indoor humidity.
However, we were sceptical of the validity of this conclusion, as there was far too much water to be attributable to mere condensation. After pulling back the carpet, we found a highly suspicious looking crack in the concrete sub -floor. Well there was the smoking gun! This building had been built with either an inadequate sub-floor vapour barrier or the cracked slab had allowed water to be drawn-inside by way of capillary action. Pooling water from heavy rains on the outdoor patio and poorly –maintained surface drainage had soaked into the foundation and had been seeping into the carpet and underlay of this suite.
This water issue was in fact a building defect and not a matter of resident negligence, after all. Therefore it was management’s responsibility to pay for the damages, not the resident…
“Got a property damage dispute ? Need an advocate?”
Contact Duxbury & Associates, Building Inspection and Consulting Ltd, your thorough Condo Inspector
We’ll get to the bottom of it and figure out what is really going on!