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Who Pays for Water Leakage in Condos?

Water damage from an upper unit can take time to become apparent as the water drips down the wall or ceiling. A ceiling leak occurs when water seeps through the concrete floor slab from the unit above. This is more common in older buildings where the waterproof membrane and screed have deteriorated, allowing water to penetrate the floor slab.

Water damage from an upper unit can be accidental or the result of negligence. Approaching your neighbor above to understand why it happens can also help in resolving the issue. Ultimately, the question arises: Who pays for water leakage in a condominium?

In most cases, the liability for water leakage from the unit above causing damage to the lower unit is borne by the upper unit. The residents of the upper unit might not be aware that they have caused a leak, so it is crucial to approach your neighbor as soon as you notice the leakage.

Even minor damage should be addressed promptly to prevent mold and mildew growth, which could pose health risks to your family. Despite this, resolving who pays for the water leakage in a condominium can be challenging.

Homeowners may seek assistance from the building management to establish contact with the unit above. The management might aid in assessing the potential damage and determining how to repair it and who bears the cost.

A common dispute among condominium owners relates to water leakage from inter-floor leaks, often compounded by uncooperative and aggrieved neighbors. Such issues can lead to stress, discomfort, and inconvenience, heightening tensions between neighbors.

Under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA), administered by the Strata Titles Board (STB), the owner of the immediately upper unit is presumed responsible for the water leakage unless proven otherwise.

If there are inter-locking floors, both parties (upper and lower floor homeowners from the immediate units) are required to jointly investigate the cause of the leak and arrange for repairs, including settling the repair costs. The condominium’s Management Corporation should also be informed and involved in investigating the defect to determine the cause of the water leakage in both units.

If you encounter an uncooperative neighbor, you can file an application with the Strata Titles Board (STB). A tribunal consisting of lawyers and building industry experts will review the evidence and mediate between the parties.

The STB will issue an order enforceable by the State Courts. For further information, refer to the “Strata Living in Singapore” guide by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), which also clarifies which unit is responsible for paying for water leakage in a condominium.

Addressing water leakage can be complex and challenging without proper expertise. It is advisable to engage a professional specialist to handle the issue effectively.

Lefong Construction is one of the leading waterproofing contractors in Singapore. We offer advanced and innovative waterproofing services for various areas, including kitchens, bathrooms, balconies, and roofs, tailored to meet the specific needs of your property.

We invite all homeowners to contact us for reliable and high-quality waterproofing services suitable for both residential and commercial properties.

FAQ: Water Leakage in Condominiums

What should I do if I notice water leakage from the unit above mine?

If you notice water leakage, contact your neighbor above immediately to discuss the issue. It’s important to address even minor leaks quickly to prevent structural damage and the growth of mold and mildew.

Who is responsible for water leakage in a condominium?

Typically, the owner of the unit from where the leakage originates is responsible for the damage. Under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act (BMSMA), there is a presumption that the owner of the unit directly above is liable, unless proven otherwise.

What steps can I take if the neighbor above is uncooperative?

If your neighbor is uncooperative, you can contact the condominium’s management to assist in mediation. If issues persist, you can apply to the Strata Titles Board (STB) for resolution. The STB will review the situation and can issue an enforceable order.

Can the condominium management help with water leakage issues?

Yes, the building management can facilitate communication between affected parties and help assess the damage. They play a crucial role in coordinating the investigation and repair processes.

What if both the upper and lower units are affected?

In cases where multiple units are affected, both the upper and lower unit owners are required to collaborate and investigate the cause of the leakage. They must also share the costs of repair as determined by the findings of the investigation.

How can I prevent future water leakages in my condominium?

  1. Regular Inspections: Schedule regular inspections of all water-related areas, such as pipes, roofing, balconies, bathrooms, and kitchens. Look for signs of wear and tear, and make sure that seals and caulking are intact.
  2. Prompt Repairs: Address any signs of water damage or leaks immediately, no matter how small. Small leaks can quickly escalate into major problems, causing extensive damage and increasing repair costs.
  3. Quality Waterproofing: Ensure that all areas prone to water exposure are properly waterproofed. This includes using high-quality waterproofing membranes and sealants. Consider hiring a professional to apply or inspect these materials.
  4. Proper Drainage: Ensure that all drainage systems in the condominium, such as gutters and downspouts, are clean and unblocked. Proper drainage prevents water accumulation that can lead to leaks.
  5. Building Maintenance: Work with the condominium management to keep communal areas well-maintained. This includes the roof, exterior walls, and any shared facilities that could contribute to water leakage.

Where can I find more information on handling water leakages in condominiums?

For detailed guidance, refer to the “Strata Living in Singapore” guide published by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). This guide provides comprehensive information on rights, responsibilities, and procedures related to strata living, including water leakage issues.

For professional assistance, Lefong provides expert waterproofing services to address and prevent water leakage in residential and commercial properties.