It is important for insureds to know that Puerto Rico’s Condominium Act provides reimbursements for repairs considered “urgent” and made at their expense. This will only apply for urgent repairs needed in common areas of the condominium.

Payment for urgent repairs; recovery from other co-owners:

When the building or its common elements require urgent or necessary repair, security, or preservation works, any owner may perform them at his/her own expense and recover from the other owners the proportional payment for the expenses incurred, by means of the pertinent explanations with supporting data.1

Many condominiums in Puerto Rico were affected by Hurricane Maria. Some of the damages call for urgent reconstruction or repair. When a Board of Directors has not acted promptly for reconstruction or repair in common areas of the condominium, owners may make these repairs at their expense and ask for reimbursement from the Board. If the Board meant to postpone or not do the repairs, then the owner will not be refunded. The Condominium Act states that the owner should claim his or her reimbursement no later than thirty (30) days after the expenditure and, if applicable after reviewing, the Board will make the payment within a period of thirty (30) days. An alternative is for the Board to forgive the maintenance debt.

In the event of disasters such as Hurricane Maria, insurance companies are adjusting a great number of claims, and delays in acting promptly can occur. Condominium property owners must maintain and secure property for a larger number of people, and when urgent repairs are needed they must act promptly, even if that means at their own expense. By providing reimbursement, Puerto Rico’s Condominium Act incentivizes owners to act quickly.

1 2003 Condominium Act, 31 L.P.R.A. sec. 1291o (Translation by the Translation Office of the Puerto Rico Government).