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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Default Condo Association Required to Be Insured on Renter's Insurance

    My question involves a condominium located in the State of: New Jersey

    I am a renter in a condominium. Last month the condo board passed a "resolution" (not a by-law) applying to all renters that states: "Renter shall obtain and have proof of payment for tenants insurance for the unit, naming the [condo association] as an additional insured on an annual basis."

    Is it legal for the condo board to require this? If so, how would the condo association be covered?

    My renters' insurance policy clearly outlines what it covers regarding my personal property and personal liability to guests within my unit. I selected an appropriate amount based on my lifestyle. The condo board has no property in my unit.

    I rely on my renters' insurance to protect me against damages created by the condo association, its employees, and its common structures (i.e., a maintenance worker drops a hammer on my computer; a common pipe bursts and ruins my rug.).

    This requirement is not in my lease (it did not exist at the time), which was submitted to the condo association for approval before I could move in.

    Any help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    1,995

    Default Re: Condo Association Required to Be Insured on Renter's Insurance

    How would the condo association be covered is you tell the insurance company or agent to name the HOA as the additional insured, so the insured's name and the HOA, so it would be changed to look something like "John Smith & HOA of xyz".

    This is to cover risks in cases where the HOA says it's your fault, and you say it's the HOA's fault. As an example, I owned a rental condo, BUT the windows as defined by the CC&R's is HOA responsibility. The new windows installed by the developer is very hard to open and close, so there's been accidents involving them, such as people closing them on their fingers. And people have installed air-conditioners in windows, and window AC's are known to fall out of windows when installed incorrectly, and injure people. In these cases, such as a tenant installing an AC incorrectly, it is possible that the injured person will sue the HOA, and the HOA would then have to sue the condo owner and his tenant for negligience.

    How the HOA would enforce this is make sure the condo owners include such clauses in their leases, and the HOA where I own rental condo's requires an addendum that says the leases conforms to all HOA requirements, existing or future ones, or the lease would not be approved. So if it is my rental condo, the way the lease is written already accomodates any new requirements as set forth by my HOA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    3

    Default Re: Condo Association Required to Be Insured on Renter's Insurance

    I understand what a joint policy would look like. That's not my concern. I'm happy to look at the law myself to find similar cases, but I don't know where to begin. I'd love if someone could refer me to a case or law instead of supplying anecdotal examples.

    Here, the homeowner is responsible for the windows, doors, heating/cooling systems (no window units), and anything in the unit (drains, fuse box/associated electrical, walls, flooring, vents, etc).

    In the cases you cite, as an additional insured, is the association responsible for part of the deductible if a claim is filed? Also, it seems that adding the association as an insured party will reduce my own protection and give them immunity, all at a cost to me. For instance, while the association's maintenance workers are in the unit making repairs, suppose they accidentally knock over a bookcase (my property), which breaks my television and a window (landlord's property). If the association is insured on my policy, that means I'm on the hook for all of it. And, since I have to make the claim, my insurance premiums will go up as a result of their negligence. Is this right?

    From a different perspective, suppose I stop making my insurance payments. Can a collections agency come after the association, in addition to me?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    1,995

    Default Re: Condo Association Required to Be Insured on Renter's Insurance

    I'm telling you that in my case as a condo LL, the HOA requires me to include in my lease provisions that synchonyses with the requirements of the HOA.

    If you have a big problem, one workaround is to approach your landlord, who is responsible for you, and say you'll agree to offer a "hold harmless agreement". The purpose here is if you did something, things that no one could imagine at the moment, the HOA gets sued, and you turned out to be responsible, then you'll take responsibility.

    One thing I noticed in my many years of landording, things happen, and when they don't, people would roll their eys and say "don't bother me with your silly anecdotes". If you are one of the "don't bother me with silly anecdotes" crowd, review your lease and the issues with your local attorney, have a "hold harmless" agreement done.

    But I have to say, if you were my tenant, and I as condo LL obligated myself to the HOA to follow their rules, and a tenant of mine says he can't, then I would have to ask the tenant to leave to stay on good legal standing with the HOA. Frankly, if the HOA sets down a rule, and I already obligated myself to live by it, I don't think I'm going to start wasting my time arguing with a tenant, and hiring attornies, learn the insurance laws of my state, if the fastest and easiest way is to just get myself another tenant.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    3

    Default Re: Condo Association Required to Be Insured on Renter's Insurance

    The whole reason why I posted here was for insight into the tenant and insurance laws in my state. My mistake, I guess.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: Condo Association Required to Be Insured on Renter's Insurance

    Quote Quoting NerdTenant
    View Post
    The whole reason why I posted here was for insight into the tenant and insurance laws in my state. My mistake, I guess.
    Has nothing to do with "tenant insurance" laws in your state, nor "landlord insurance" laws. I had tenants of mine include me as "additional insured" in their renter's polices. I was a commercial tenant, and the LL had me include him as an additonal insured and I send him my updated "certificate of insurance" each year as part of the lease arrangement. In neither of these case had it caused anyone's insurance rates to go up.

    I have provisions in condo leases to my tenants, when they have to follow the condo rules as I agreed to follow the condo rules. For instance, I got complaints that my tenant didn't follow the recycling rules, so I got after the tenant. This does not mean I have to make myself an expert on recycling laws, just simply they have to agree to follow condo rules.

    BTW, courts in my state had ruled that the powers of HOA's and condo boards to be absolute, unless they are violating state laws. There is nothing I see that adding an HOA as an additional insured violate any state laws, particularly insurance laws. Sure, you don't like it, but does not make it illegal.

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