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We live in a condo. The unit next to ours is foreclosed and has black mold. This has now spread to our unit.

Honolulu, HI |

We live in a condo. The unit next to ours is foreclosed. Last year, the unit had a burst pipe and flooded, causing some water damage to our unit. The association had someone come out and dry out the walls. We have now discovered black mold. The foreclosed unit next door is full of black mold. Nobody from our association has been monitoring the unit, despite what happened last year, and they now state that we have to claim this through our insurance. This does not seem correct to us. Surely, they should have been monitoring the damage? This should be taking care of by the association's insurance.

Attorney Answers 2


If it was foreclosed, the new owner would presumably be the association if not the lender, who would have primary responsibility. The CC&R's would also govern some if not all of the issues. You should inform your insurance carrier, as well as the association's insurer, and they will work it out among themselves. You should employ local counsel experienced in condominium matters.
Disclaimer: California attorney Robert Miller has practiced for over 45 years and restricts his practice to real estate and probate matters in the Central District of Los Angeles. Any opinion expressed is for general informational purposes only, no attorney-client relationship is intended or created by this answer, and no action or inaction should be contemplated without first employing and consulting with a competent attorney convenient to the questioner.

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I can see several parties who might have some liability in this issue: Whoever installed or built the pipe may have liability for a faulty installation/defective pipe. Whoever owns the unit next store may have liability for failing to upkeep the unit. Whoever is charged with upkeep of the unit may have liability for failing to conduct proper maintenance. Whoever cleaned the flooded water and dried the walls, may have liability for failing to do competent work. And still, there may be currently unknown others with exposure to liability. In litigation, where liability lies is typically investigated in a process called Discovery, which is usually quite expensive. Accordingly, the best course of action may be to make a claim on your insurance, and the insurance company will probably establish litigation to recapture whatever they pay out to you. I hope this helps – good luck.

Any information given herein is for resource and background information only, and does not constitute legal advice and does not establish or imply the establishment of a client/attorney relationship. Any and all readers of the said resource and background information are advised only to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney.

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