On 4/29/15, a car belonging to my tenant rolled out of its parking spot (E-brake failed or was not set) and into the metal railing outside of our building. The car bent back the railing, such that it broke off part of the concrete "floating" stairs at the entrance to the building. The tenant's auto insurance will only cover $10k of the total damage, estimated at $19k. The tenant is refusing to pay the additional $9k estimate (even when offered a payment plan); and the HOA is disinclined to file a claim to our HOA insurance that may cause our insurance rates to increase. If my tenant does not pay, the HOA intends to hold me responsible for any damages.
"Who is responsible for cost of damage caused by a tenant to common property in a condo?" As far as the HOA is concerned, you likely are the person liable for any damages caused by you or your tenant. The documents for your HOA likely has this provision. You should review the HOA documents to see what are in the HOA documents.
You should also review your rental agreement with the tenant. Hopefully for you, your rental agreement provides that the tenant is liable for damages for that the tenant caused.
You or the HOA likely need to sue the tenant. "The tenant's auto insurance will only cover $10k of the total damage". That is a rather unusual number that is much less than the minimums required by the statutes.
You can check with your insurance for the property to see whether your insurance would cover the damages done by the tenant.
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