AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION
Source: Perlstein, Sandler & McCracken, LLC
Adopting maintenance standards will encourage preventative maintenance and reduce the likelihood of losses. If a unit fails to comply with a maintenance standard, he or she can be required to reimburse the association for any repair costs that are not covered by the master insurance policy.
The Benefit of Adopting Maintenance Standards
The Common Interest Ownership Act permits the association to adopt standards for the maintenance of unit owners. By Adopting maintenance standards, the association can remind owners to address risks in units which, if overloaded, could cause damage to the community. By engaging in preventative maintenance and addressing these risks, the unit owner reduced the likelihood of loss.
While the association can adopt maintenance standards, it may not have the power to actively require owners to abide by them. Active enforcement may require an amendment to the declaration or bylaws of the association, depending on when the community was created.
Nevertheless, Subsection 47-257 (e) of the Act provides that if the association incurs an expense that is not covered by the master insurance policy because a unit owner failed to comply with a maintenance standard, it may assess that expense solely against the owner’s unit. Thus, failing to comply with a maintenance standard does not necessarily make the unit owner responsible for the total cost of repairing any damages. If some of the costs are covered by the master insurance policy, the owner is not responsible for those costs. However, the owner may be held responsible for paying those costs that are not covered by available insurance proceeds, such as deductible.
To read more, visit www.CTCondolaw.com .
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