When water damage occurs in a property, two actions must be taken as quickly as possible. You have to find the cause urgently to stop the damage and avoid making it worse, and you have to alert the insurance company. But what about water leaking in a condominium?

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, water leaks in condos are the number one cause of damage in condominiums. Find out what the responsibilities of the syndicate and the co-owner are, as well as the recourses and the steps to follow.

What are the possible causes of water leaking in a condominium?

In a condominium water leak situation, the causes can be multiple. The damage may have started in the condo itself:

  • defective faucet seal resulting in a leak;
  • pierced drainpipe;
  • improper hookup of a household appliance (washing machine, dishwasher, etc.).

But the damage may also have come from a neighboring apartment or the common areas of the building:

  • sewer backups;
  • capillary rise;
  • infiltration through the roof;
  • infiltration through an outer wall.

How to prevent water damage

There are a few preventive measures to avoid a large portion of water damage. Keeping a strainer in the sink, bathtub, or shower drains prevents hair clogs from forming in the plumbing—a common source of water damage.

In your condo and the common areas, it’s also possible to install a water leak detection system. This is also now a recurring requirement of insurance companies specializing in condominiums.

What are the obligations of the condo syndicate?

The condo syndicate takes out insurance covering damage to the entire building, except for the improvements made by a co-owner to their private portion. This is an obligation of the syndicate toward the co-owners.

What are the co-owner’s responsibilities regarding water leaking in their condo?

In Quebec, each co-owner is required to take out an insurance policy covering their civil liability for any damage that they could cause.

In particular, this insurance policy covers the risk of water damage in the condominium originating in their apartment.

What are the tenant’s responsibilities regarding water damage in a condo?

When they notice any damage, the tenant must immediately alert the condo manager or a syndicate administrator. The lessor, the condominium, and any other third parties can thus report the damage to their insurance company. Remember that water damage not reported by the tenant may lead to the forfeiture of the right to compensation.

Can condo insurance cover the costs of water damage?

If the deadline for reporting water damage stipulated in the contract is respected, the condo insurer covers the damage. The amount of the deductible and the work to treat the cause of the damage remain at the expense of the insured.

What are the steps to follow when water damage occurs in a condo?

Measures must be taken immediately to stop the water damage and prevent further damage and the appearance of mould. The condominium must immediately report the water damage to the insurance company in writing, with proof of sending and receipt.

The occupant files a claim with their home insurance to be compensated for the furniture and improvements. As for the traces of the water damage, these must not be cleaned until the experts have come by.

Sound condo management starts with Condo Stratégis!

Trust Condo Stratégis and its team specializing in property maintenance management to administer your building. Not only will your water damage be handled effectively, but a great deal of damage can be avoided thanks to the implementation of preventive measures.