Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Florida

The occupant of the unit directly above mine (condo) neglected to turn off his water before leaving for an extended period of time. A leak developed in the laundry room. There is damage to the drywall in my unit, and some mold growing on the baseboard. My insurance covers the mold (which is behind the washing machine and went unnoticed by me) and baseboard, but the condo board is telling me that I am responsible for removing the damaged drywall, curing whatever mold has resulted from the extended leak, and then they will replace the drywall. They stated they did not handle anything concerning mold. Drywall is considered part of the common elements. Under what law or authority am I required to contract for repairs on a common element (dry wall), therefore assuming a liability if the repair is defective, and paying out of pocket for these repairs. The damage is due to negligence of the upstairs tenant (it is a rental with the owner out of state). I did nothing to cause the problem. It was suggested I could then "sue" the upstairs owner (out of state) to recover my damages. I feel that I am not authorized to cause repairs to a common element, nor should I be financially responsible for damages caused by the negligence of the upstairs occupant. It's been two weeks, I have mold still in the laundry room, which could be putting my health at risk.

Asked on 7/15/13, 12:57 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

Unfortunately, if you do not have the insurance to cover this remediation, you will have to. You may seek reimbursement from the occupant, if he was negligent.

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Answered on 7/15/13, 6:11 pm

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