Who Pays When Toilet Tanks Burst?

The Toronto Star − Condo Living Section
Condo Living sent the following question to Shlomo Sharon, President, Taft Forward Property Management Group


I am inquiring about damage to other units caused by, for example, a toilet tank or a washer bursting in a top-floor unit.
I have been told that if the toilet tank bursts as a result of negligence by the unit owner, then the unit owner (or the owner's insurance) pays for the damage to the other units.  But if the bursting was not the result of the unit owner's negligence, then the condominium corporation (or the condominium corporation's insurance) is responsible for repairing the damage to the other units.



The Condominium Act provides that the condominium corporation shall insure both the units and the common elements.  If the incident is an insurable item under the policy, which could include an overflowing toilet tank as you mentioned, then the condominium corporation would have to determine whether the damage was caused to the unit and/or the common elements.
Any improvements made by a unit owner or any personal belongings would not be covered by the condominium corporation's insurance policy.
Even if a unit owner caused the damage or was negligent, the corporation still has the obligation to put the claim through its insurer to cover any damage to the units or common elements.
To determine if the damage was caused to the "unit" (covered) or to an "improvement" (not covered), the declaration and the by-laws need to be reviewed.  The unit owner who suffered the damage, although innocent, would either have to pay the cost or put the claim through his/her own insurer.
The importance of determining who caused the damage is relevant in determining who pays the deductible portion of the condominium corporation's insurance policy.


Quick Contact

Taft Management and Forward Property Management Group

250 Davisville Avenue
Suite 108
Toronto, Ontario
M4S 1H2 Canada
Tel : (416) 482-8001
Fax : (416) 482-8010
After Hours Emergency:
(647) 955-3681