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CCOC Decision Summary

#330-O, Burns v. North Creek Condominium Association (October 15, 1996) (Panel: Blomberg, Auvil, Blumberg) 

The condominium owner (CA) claimed that the condominium association (CO) should reimburse her for damages she suffered when a water pipe in her unit burst, which were not covered by the CA's master insurance due to the deductible

The evidence showed that a plumbing connection in the CO's own unit failed, and the resulting flood caused $6148 in damages.  The CA filed a claim for the damage with its master insurance carrier, which paid $5148 after allowance for the $1000 deductible.  The CA was established in 1978 and predated the adoption of the Maryland Condominium Act.  The CO also filed a claim with her homeowner´┐Żs insurance carrier to pay the deductible of $1000, minus its own deductible of $200.

The hearing panel ruled that Section 11-114 of the Condominium Act required condominium associations to carry insurance on the common elements and units, and to pay for the costs of repair not covered by the insurance as a common expense.  However, Section 11-142 exempts from this law the condominium associations that were established before 1982, if their governing documents provided for a different scheme.  The rules of this CA provided that the CA was not responsible for any repairs to the interior of the units, and that if it does so, it is entitled to assess the costs of those repairs against the unit owner involved.  Under Section 11-142, these bylaws control the parties' rights and duties, not Section 11-114.

The panel held that the CA did not have to reimburse the CO for the amount of repairs not covered by the $1000 deductible and that the deductible was correctly charged to the CO.

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