Frozen Pipes – Who’s Responsible?

Temperatures have been cold and spring is still just a dream. These freezing temperatures make frozen pipes a real danger. So what happens if a pipe in your complex freezes and breaks?

Of course, every property has different rules regarding insurance and repair obligations, but these are general rules that will give you some basic information if you’re worried about freezing pipes.

  • If a pipe that serves only one unit breaks, pipe repair is the responsibility of that unit’s owner.
  • If a pipe that serves more than one unit breaks, repair is the responsibility of the association.
  • If property within a unit is damaged and the repair cost is lower than the association’s deductible, generally repair is the unit owner’s responsibility.
  • If property within a unit is damaged and the repair cost is higher than the association’s deductible, generally repair is the association’s responsibility.
  • Repair to damage on a common element is the association’s responsibility. Common elements could include a unit’s perimeter walls.

Also keep in mind that as temperatures plummet, your association should have a plan in place to properly maintain the heat in vacant units in order to reduce the chance of pipes freezing and bursting.

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