#497-O, Neufville v. Greenfield Commons Condominium (June 27, 2001) (Panel: Stevens, Gaffigan, Subin)
The condominium owners (CO) disputed a decision of their condominium association (CA) to require them to pay the $5000 insurance deductible charged by the CA's insurance company after it paid for damages to the condominium resulting from a fire that began in the CO's unit.
The evidence at the hearing showed that this CA was constructed after 1982, and that in January, 2000, there was a fire in the CO's unit.The master insurance policy covered the costs of repairs except for a $5000 deductible.Under the rules of the CA, repair of the common areas is a common expense, and repair of an individual unit is the responsibility of that unit's owner.
The panel ruled that Section 11-114 of the Condominium Act provides that the costs of repair are a common expense to the extent that they are not covered by the master insurance.The panel further ruled that these excess costs included the costs of any deductible.Therefore, the panel concluded that the CA could not pass on the $5000 deductible to the CO.
The panel noted that Section 11-142 of the Condominium Act exempts condominiums built before 1982 from compliance with certain sections of 11-114, but this condominium was built after 1982.
The panel further noted that a recent amendment to Section 11-114 that would allow condominiums to amend their bylaws to pass on $1000 of the deductible to the unit owner had not yet become law, and in any event would not apply to this case because the bylaws had not been changed to comply properly with the amendment.