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Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

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responsibility for ceiling repairs in top unitApr 17, 2019


We are in a top floor co-op unit. The ceilings in one room are cracked badly, and made of heavy concrete. These cracks have been there since we moved in 6 years ago, but we recently had a contractor looking into other issues and he says we should replace cracked ceiling for safety reasons.

I understand walls and ceiling repairs are usually the responsibility of the tenant, but in this case damage seems to be due either to a past leak or flex in the roof above. Should we get an engineering inspection to determine the cause, in hopes of getting the co-op to assume responsibility for repair, or would that be wasted money? If an inspection says the damage is from a past leak or other roof issues, is the co-op responsible?

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added clarification - Mike L Apr 17, 2019

An important bit I failed to mention is that there is no current leak, or at least not one that we've seen. Cracking has gotten worse over the 6 years, but we've never seen water or moisture on the ceiling.

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Ceiling repairs - Marty Apr 17, 2019

Mike - It sounds like you may be describing stress cracks, which are quite common as the building settles over time. You should ask the super or building manager if that's what it is.

If so, then plastering is usually all that needs to be done. If so, the co-op should be responsible for taking care of it at no charge to the shareholder.

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Cracks on walls and ceiling inside condo - Victor May 07, 2021

I'm the owner of the first floor building , couple days ago appeared several crackers on the walls in living room and bedroom above sliding doors and on the ceiling , and paint start fell down.
I contacted management condominiums, but they reject their responsibility with reason that it is normal settling for the building over 50 years old. They rejected to do inspection of the foundation bellow and unit above saying that I need just myself do repairs cracks and painting inside my unit.
But if the major structure problem not would be fixed my repair work would be useless and the crackes will appeared again.
What step should I do to force them do professional inspection and fix the problem ?

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Roof Probems - Grant May 09, 2021

You say concrete, but that is not final and diagnosing your dilemma is complicated.You might have a concrete slab with reinforced steel rod as the part that holds everything up. But on the inside the finish coat should be a rough coat and then plaster. And what keeps all of this sealed and dry would be the actual roof part (rubber or asphalt) that you'd see if you went up on top of your building. This could be in great shape, preventing any leaks into your slab and ceiling.
As far as legal, typically you'd be responsible for nothing but the plaster that forms the ceiling, or potentially nothing if the structural parts are failing. Then it's all on the Board.
Worth your while to get an engineer to get a pro opinion to arm yourself if you end up in court. Lawyer might also help move your situation along if your board gets too antagonistic. Hope you have a good one.

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Responsibility for ceiling/roof repairs - Steven424 May 09, 2021

Another avenue that you might pursue is contacting your personal co-op insurance carrier and explain the situation to them. With any luck, they'll send an adjuster to take a look and hopefully give you an informed opinion about what's going on and who is responsible for the repairs. It would be ammunition for a discussion with your board.

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