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Hello,

So I have an investment property, a 1 bedroom unit in a 5 year old 30 floor condo in Toronto.

The unit is rented out to a couple; their lease ends the end of August. I have a new couple ready to move in September 1st.

Two weekends ago, my current tenant called me to tell me that the person in the unit immediately below his came upstairs to complain to him that water was leaking into their unit. I inspected his bathroom and found that yes, there was a crack in the bathtub.

We notified property management and they had the superintendent examine the tub; they confirmed that yes, the tub has a crack/hole in it, and it needs to be replaced.

Property management recommended I go with their preferred contractor to do the repair work as they need to confirm that there is no mold, etc. underneath the tub when the old one is taken out.

Early in this process, property management informed me that the charge to fix water damage, etc. in other units, will be charged back to me. Apparently water damage was found in units in three floors below mine.

I called my insurance company and made a claim. The insurance adjustor called me back and said that a situation like this is typically covered in the condo's standard unit by-laws, and that the condo should be responsible for paying for this. The adjustor said that all bathroom equipment were provided by the condo and the cost to fix a problem like this should be made by the condo corporation.

So I have the property management office telling me I have to pay, and my insurance company telling me that the condo corp. has to pay.

Right now, I've authorized the property management office to proceed with the contractor to fix the tub as I want the tub fixed ASAP. My current tenants are greatly inconvenienced by the situation and it looks like my future tenants will be as well.

The estimate provided by the contractor is something like $2500!

Concierge at the building at one point suggested that I go after my current tenants for a portion of this cost. I personally don't like the idea of doing this as I don't think they did something to explicitly cause this. How does one break a 5 year old tub? I don't think dropping a bottle of shampoo or something similar could, would, or should break a tub. I honestly think it was a bad tub.

Does anyone here have experience with anything like this? Are you familiar with condo rules and by-laws (I am reading up on these in parallel with my posting here)? Should my insurance pay for this (what does insurance pay for if not for something like this?)? Should the condo corporation? Or is this going to come out of my pocket?!

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

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I don't think you should go after the tenant. Unless you feel or can prove that they did something to damage it.

I would get the condo board and the insurance company on the phone with each other. It might help.
 

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Usually everything inside the 4 walls of the condo is yours.

For instance the dishwasher is yours even though it was originally given to you by the condo corporation.

In this case the tub is yours.

The Condo corporation will generally fix any damages caused by water from the outside of the building, or water coming from any equipment that belongs to them within the walls such as the air conditioning unit.

The idea that there would be mold between the floors is kind of laughable. There may be some mold on the drywall but the rest of the floor is solid concrete.

$2500 is not an outrageous amount for this kind of tub replacement. The tub is relatively cheap but removing the tub destroys the tub surround, which must then be replaced. It is a big job. It's not an awesome price but it's not crazy either. If they are just charging that to remove and replace the tub and not repair the tile then that is expensive.

Basically the tub failed (I'm assuming it's acrylic) either due to damage or manufacturer's defect. Cracks are usually caused by someone falling in the tub while holes are cause by dropping something heavy such as a hammer.

After 5 years it's out of warranty so it falls on your dime to do so unless there is something specific in the condominium declaration for your building. The plumbing behind the wall which connects to your tub is theirs.
 

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Yikes!

First of all, the occupants of the units are NOT responsible for one red cent of fixing this. In fact, if it isn't fixed soon and any of their property was damaged, they may take someone (likely you) to court. I think you understand that you are clearly responsible to getting this fixed. And I am personally surprised that the ins co said the condo was responsible. But they may be right. I think either them or the board are trying to squirm out of paying. Getting them together on a conference call will likely be difficult and everyone will be putting their hands up and saying 'not responsible'...someone needs to help you with the rules and bylaws. You should have those documents. Can you refer to your condo documents and see what they say about this? The ins MAY have a point. But if the tub itself, which is contained in your unit, is the problem, then YOU are responsible. If it's the pipes which are part of the bldg infrastructure, then the condo should be responsible IMO but check the docs and see.

This needs to be your top priority right now.
 

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The occupants may have dropped something in the tub... This is the usual way these tubs get damaged. Ask anyone who has ever worked on a construction site how fragile these tubs are.
 

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I think you need to check the condo bylaws on who's responsibility it is. Most times, it's as Berubeland says, it's your responsibility if it's in your walls, but not all circumstances. Each condo building may have a different bylaw.

But I like Cal's suggestion, get the parties to talk to each other (i.e. the condo board and your insurance.)
 

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We seem to agree that repairing/replacing the tub is the condo owner's responsibility (assuming there is no builder's warranty left.) I would not expect owner's insurance to pay for repairing a broken fixture or appliance, unless he has a very luxurious insurance policy.

The real dispute seems to be cost of repairs for water damage to other units. Make sure the contractor separates this cost out. I would have thought that's what owner's liability insurance was for. If his insurance agent thinks condo would "normally" cover this, tell the agent to talk to the condo management.
 

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Explorer - just thought I would throw something out there that could help you with the water damage to the other units.

When the renos are being done try to find out how the water leaked from the tub though the concrete slab. My guess would be it when down the sleeve (hole) in the slab where the drain from your tub runs down. If this is the case look for any sealant filling the hole in the floor surrounding the pipe. By code there should be a fire proof/smoke proof barrier separating every void in the concrete (floor and walls) from your unit and and other adjoining units/hallways. Where this will help you is the "fire stopping" sealant is also WATER PROOF. So take a look it, if it is not installed at all you might be able to put that blame on the condo building.

It's just a shot, but by code it has to be there.
 

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Our rental condo had damage from 3 floors above.

The condo insurance paid for all the repairs and the woman who left her kids barbie in the toilet did not have to go through her insurance.

This was our experience, but it may be different in Ontario.
 

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It depends on both the provincial laws and the condo bylaws. As Berubeland pointed out, everything within your unit is typically 100% your responsibility.

As far as damage to other units, in Alberta, in our condo, the owner of the unit where the damage/water originated was responsible, but his own insurance covered it.

It can be a fine line, and in some condo corps. it can be up to the discretion of the condo board.
 
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