Condo buildings becoming more and more popular for people of all ages and demographics, especially in the City of Toronto with seemingly endless condo development underway. The responsibilities of condo boards and individual owners can often become unclear. After all, if a pipe bursts in a person’s unit, is it their responsibility to fix it, or is it the board’s? Here is a basic breakdown of Toronto condo plumbing responsibility that you can reference.
You should know that it’s always a good idea to bring up these issues with your individual board. Every building, and the people who run it, are different, and different agreements means that you could be on the hook (or off) for different things.
Condo Boards are Responsible for the Building’s Plumbing
The major responsibility of condo boards in condo buildings is to the building as a while over individual units. So plumbing problems that occur outside the units, like drainage away from the building and connections to the municipal water, are still the responsibility of the board over the individual. And any repairs that result from a failure to fix those types of problems are generally their problem as well, although many boards will try and fight individuals in this regard if there’s a chance that the problem wasn’t actually their fault.
In general, however, it’s best to think of the board as the sort of street maintenance on a more conventional neighbourhood, and your condo as the individual home. The street crew that accidentally bursts a pipe while working must fix it, but the pipes in your home are not their problem.
Individual Owners are Responsible for Ongoing Maintenance in the Units
Ongoing plumbing maintenance is not a board’s responsibility, so be aware that regular pipe inspections and repairs are part of your annual home maintenance checkup. This includes things like leaky faucets, shower heads that aren’t putting out the pressure they once did, and, in some cases, issues relating to hot water (if your unit has its own hot water tank).
We often think of plumbing as where the water comes out, but the pipes inside the walls will also be your problem and responsibility to upkeep and maintain. So if a pipe bursts in the wall, that may be your problem. Of course, responsibility can get hazy when buildings and units share pipes, walls, and resources. This means you should have problems addressed as soon as possible to limit damage to other units, but to have any problems investigated to ensure your unit wasn’t solely responsible.
Once You Figure It Out, it’s Easy
Condo plumbing in Toronto is a lot more complicated than the plumbing of an individual home, mostly because the tight quarters and individuals involved are much different from a traditional street neighbourhood. If you have plumbing issues in your condo, it’s generally going to be your responsibility to fix and maintain them. Feel free to give our downtown plumbers a call and we’ll help you solve your condo plumbing woes.
But for the larger issues, the responsibility will fall onto the board or condo corporation. No matter what the issue, however, open and honest communication, and a thorough knowledge of your rights as a condo owner, are key. Be sure to be familiar with your condo agreement, and bring any and all issues to the board for consideration and review.