As you may know, there is a large class action settlement in Canada and the US as a result of Kitec piping installed predominantly between 1995 and 2007. The pipe system can fail, causing catastrophic water escape and damage.
It is important to note that Kitec piping could have been installed during the initial construction of the property, but also as part of a repair or replacement project later on. As such, while it may be a more common problem for condominiums built between 1995 and 2007, all condominiums should investigate the possibility of Kitec piping on the property.
Speaking with the Engineer
The first step should be to ask the engineer if the condominium has Kitec piping. If the condominium has Kitec piping, a formal investigation by the engineer should be conducted. At a minimum, ask the engineer for information about where is it located (i.e. throughout the property or only within units). This information will determine who is responsible for filing a claim: the condominium or owners.
In addition, ask the engineer about planning for Kitec piping issues in the reserve fund study even if you haven’t had any leaks. At worst, you’ll put aside more money than you need to put aside to ensure there are adequate funds in the reserve fund. At best, you’ll be able to avoid depleting the reserve fund study (or levying special assessments) to repair leaks and damage resulting from a failure of the Kitec piping.
Filing a Claim
If a condominium has had losses or damages because of Kitec piping, it should definitely consider filing a claim for damages from the Kitec Settlement fund. But, even if a condominium has not had any losses yet, it should consider making a claim to protect its rights for compensation from the fund.
The claim form must include information about the property, the owner, and any Kitec piping. Proof of Kitec piping, such as invoices, warranties, or photographs, should be included.The claim form also has sections that detail the amount of piping, type of installation, and the installation date. This information may require some assistance from the engineer or a plumber.
A person or entity must file a claim by January 9th, 2020 in order to be considered for compensation from the fund. For more information, check out the following website: http://www.kitecsettlement.com/
Speaking with a Lawyer
Lastly, if a condominium has Kitec piping, the board should consider if the condominium’s lawyer should be included in any discussions about it. Some boards choose to use their lawyers to assist with the claims process, and others feel comfortable doing it on their own. In addition, the lawyer should be able to provide language about Kitec piping for status certificates and prepare a notice to the owners to inform them of the issue.