B.C. condo owner whose sink overflowed receives $30,000 judgment due to strata’s maintenance failure
A condo owner whose unit was damaged by an overflowing kitchen sink was awarded almost $30,000 in damages after her strata was found “negligent” in maintaining common property pipes.
Owner Charlene Lal argued before B.C.’s civil resolution tribunal that the strata failed to do the maintenance required to prevent her kitchen sink from overflowing, damaging her suite and two others.
To win her case, she had to show evidence the pipe blockage was in the common property of the strata and not her suite, and that the strata failed to properly maintain the common property pipes.
Lal returned home on Nov. 25, 2021, to find her unit flooded by the overflowing kitchen sink and called a plumber, according to the decision released by the tribunal. Her neighbours below her had already called a plumber after noticing water dripping from the ceiling into their suite.
The strata’s bylaws state that when water backs up through a drainpipe and the owner can provide photo or video proof taken by a plumber that the blockage was in the “vertical portion of the strata-owned drainpipe,” the strata will pay for the damage, according to the decision. The bylaws also state that it is the unit owners who are responsible for the repairs “if the source of the problem cannot be identified.”
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