Q. A fire sprinkler went off in my condo building causing $25,000 in damage to my kitchen and other personal items. Although the Condo Association admits the sprinkler is its responsibility, the Board is claiming that the association was not negligent or at fault and is denying any liability for my damages. Since the sprinkler did not perform normally, I think the association, the management company or perhaps the manufacturer should take the blame. Who is right here?
A. We have recently addressed many questions regarding insurance and repair obligations in condominium associations. This is an interesting twist on that issue, but our advice remains the same as prior columns. The association is responsible for insuring and repairing the condominium buildings as originally built, which includes the common areas and the drywall inside your condominium unit. If there is a leak or other casualty that causes damage to your kitchen fixtures and other personal property, Florida law is clear that the damage is your responsibility and you have the obligation to obtain insurance for that type of damage. This does not mean that you or your insurance company cannot pursue any negligent party that may be responsible for the faulty fire sprinkler, but this does not sound like a situation where the association is obligated to pay for the damage inside your unit.