Q My aunt owns a condo. The condo on top of hers had a plumbing problem that was
leaking to her bathroom. They opened a hole in her wall to see the condition of
her pipes. They were rusty and with leaks. Is the building association responsible for this repair or is she?
—Water Logged in Illinois
A “The short answer to your question is that the condominium association is
responsible to pay for repairs to these plumbing pipes,” says Steven D. Welhouse, an attorney with The Sterling Law Office, LLC in
Chicago. “Your aunt should consult her condominium association's governing documents,
including the declaration and bylaws, to identify this responsibility and make
a claim to the association. Typically, a condominium association's governing documents will set forth the
definition of "common elements" in the condominium building structure. Common elements are those features of the common elements that benefit more than
one unit in the building. Common elements will include plumbing pipes located within the building's walls.
The condominium association is responsible to maintain and repair the common
elements of the building, including such plumbing pipes. If the plumbing pipes observed within the walls of your aunt's and/or neighbor's
condominium unit were rusty and with leaks, the condominium association is
responsible to repair them. The association should want to make these repairs
in order prevent further, more expensive damage to the building.”