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Mold, Water Damage, and Condos

Oct 12, 2007
If you have just moved into your first home, you may not realize just how much work and effort it takes to keep up a house, even if it only has one bedroom in it. People who live in condominiums and have homeowner's association fees do not generally have to deal with the maintenance of the building's structure, but those who have houses are responsible for the entire thing from the ground up. Living in a condo can have its benefits and its downfalls, but if you do not want to have to take care of the structure of the building (if it is an apartment-style complex), then having one of these instead of a house may be for you.

If you are considering renovating a condominium inside a larger apartment-style complex, then you should realize that there are things that you can do and things that you cannot. For instance, replacing the tub and tile in the bathroom is acceptable, but moving the plumbing around to suit your new design is probably not. Structural changes to the inside of a condo are generally something that you need to have approved first. Changing the location of a light in the room also should be inquired about, since this will involve having electrical work done.

Mold growth and water damage in the condominium, though, will be your responsibility. Everything inside the walls of the condo belongs to you and you can do as you wish with most of it, but any mold growth and water damage that occurs inside it will also be your responsibility, especially if it is your fault that it is there. If you have allowed the bath tub to overflow or the dishwasher malfunctions, then that would make it your responsibility to have the problem fixed. If it is due to bad plumbing in the complex, though, you may have a claim.

The condo that you are purchasing should come with exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathroom and if it does not, look around for a window in both these areas. The kitchen and bathroom are areas that are prone to mold growth and water damage if the humidity stays too high. As with any home, you do not want to have appliances that use a lot of water and malfunction on a regular basis. You will be better off purchasing new ones in the long run.

The exception of mold growth being your responsibility is only if the mold spread into your condo from another part of the building. If the entire complex has a problem, then you are not liable. Have a clause on mold inserted into your purchase agreement to protect yourself from mold damage that already exists in the condo.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of
Emergency Water Damage Restoration and
Houston Water Damage Restoration Which are Certified IICRC Water damage and mold remediation contractors.
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