Due to water damage, excessive moisture levels, or spore contamination, condominium building managers and property owners face a significant problem with mold.
For instance, the presence of mold poses risks on several fronts, including compromising the health of your tenants, tarnishing your brand, and exposing you to costly mold cleanup expenses. All things apart, who is responsible for the mold damage? The unit owners or the condominium corporation? Let’s check below.
Who Is Responsible For Mold Issues In Condos?
Condominium corporations must maintain and repair the common elements. In contrast, the majority of condominium organizations’ declarations mandate that owners manage their units. They want them to fix and address any problem that presents a harmful situation to the inhabitants, property, and assets of the company.
The issue in question is a serious mold problem in a unit. It originally appeared in 2009 but was only remediated in 2018.
One unit owner argued in court that the mold formed with difficulties linked to common elements, like issues with the exterior windows, the heating system inside the common elements ceiling, and ventilation systems.
Also, the condominium corporation contended in the court that the mould was due to lifestyle choices the owner made, like not properly operating the heating system and placing weather stripping on the entry door, which hindered appropriate ventilation.
After examining competing expert findings, Judge Nakatsuru favored the unit owner. He thought that the mould was generated by causes relating to the construction of the building.
Judge ruled that the condominium corporation failed in its duties to restore and maintain the common elements.
As a consequence, the condominium corporation was deemed accountable to cover the mold damage repair cost by the court.
The unit owner further claimed that she was obligated to cover the costs of the damages due to the oppressive remedy provided for in Section 135 of the 1998 Condominium Act . This plea for relief was denied by the court.
For an oppression remedy to be effective, it must be demonstrated that the condominium corporation acted with unfair prejudice, did any oppressive conduct, or unfair disregard pertinent interests.
Identifying Mold Issues In Condos
Mold is a widespread outdoor fungus, especially in moist environments such as woods .
Mold performs a vital function in decomposing decaying organic waste. However, mold spores may invade our residences, workplaces, and stores.
Mold often grows in wet and moist environments, like basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and other places with high moisture levels. Alternaria, Fusarium, Memnoniella, Aspergillus, and Trichoderma include some common types of mould found in indoor environments.
Mold may develop on your drywall, ceiling, tiles (encompassing floor, bathtub/shower, and walls), curtains, and/or carpets. It’s a major problem for various reasons.
A mold issue is directly linked to a range of health risks. This includes respiratory difficulties and skin and eye irritation, etc.
Second, mold diseases are highly destructive. Invading the drywall, tiles, and other crucial locations increases the likelihood of more water damage (and mold). Large-scale mould infections may necessitate costly rebuilding, making prevention or early identification an absolute necessity.
The health concerns and property damage caused by mould might indirectly affect your condominium. In addition to causing your tenants to quit, a mould outbreak might negatively impact your building’s image among homebuyers and renters.
These challenges require condominium management, unit owners, and occupants to deal or control mould, preferably before a mould breakout.
Even though building management is accountable for specific areas, like ensuring that the plumbing is at no risk of leaks, drying common areas like the gym or swimming pool change rooms), and controlling moisture where they have control, each residential unit is also responsible for its maintenance.
Frequent showering, cooking, cleaning, and other everyday activities might cause increased moisture and/or water damage. If residents neglect to eliminate moisture (by employing exhaust fans) or maintain dry spaces, their apartments will be more susceptible to mold growth.
Mold might spread to the building’s structure and other units if uncontrolled. Hence, homeowners must take responsibility for maintaining their units and determining if there are any traces of mold growth.
Next Steps After Detecting Mold Problem
So after you determine mold, you should immediately contact a reputable environmental contractor to assess the affected area and remove the mold entirely and securely.
Yet, your mold management strategy must ideally begin with preventative steps. Such as, maintaining low moisture levels in your condo and keeping sensitive areas dry.
It would be good to insure your condominium with coverage for mold damage and mold remediation that is specified. Building managers can make the error of purchasing a comprehensive insurance policy without examining the type of coverage provided. Hence, check and review the insurance you are purchasing.
The Condominium Act necessitates condominium corporations to repair and maintain the shared parts. It must undertake thorough inquiries into issues and has maintenance obligations.
Yet, you can’t expect perfection from condominium associations. Especially when the matter is a complex issue, a unit owner can only sometimes anticipate a condominium corporation to resolve a problem promptly.
Time may be necessary to investigate and build a cost-effective and efficient response plan.
The violation of a condominium corporation’s responsibility to repair does not inevitably entitle a unit owner to damages under the oppression remedy. The oppression remedy intends to follow severe and burdensome conduct.
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