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CCOC Decision Summary

#522-O, Tuckson v. Seneca Knolls Condominium (June 19, 2002) (Panel: Van Grack, Bruce, Skobel)

The homeowner (HO) complained that the Condominium Association (CA) was improperly charging him an insurance deductible related to damage caused when his water heater broke in October, 2000.

The evidence at the hearing showed that on October 17, 2000, the HO's water heater broke and caused over $3000 in water damage to his and to other units.The CA's insurance paid for all the repairs except for the $1,000 deductible, which the CA assessed against the HO.The CA's by-laws stated that "if the loss is caused by anything in a Unit or for which the Unit Owner has the maintenance, repair or replacement responsibility, then the deductible shall be paid by the Unit Owner without regard to the negligence of the Unit Owner."

The hearing panel ruled that the HO was bound by these rules and denied his request that the CA be required to pay the deductible.The panel noted that recent amendments to the Maryland Condominium Act, Section 11-114(g), were not in effect when this dispute arose and did not apply, but that even if they did apply, they would not change the result of the case.

[Editor's note: As of December 31, 2006, Section 11-114(g) provides that if the cause of damage originates within a Unit, the insurance deductible of up to $1,000 may be charged to the owner of the Unit.]

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