Insurance is a valuable tool that New Jersey consumers can use to protect themselves. Condominium insurance is a complex field, however, and it’s important for condo owners to understand their rights and responsibilities under New Jersey law. Read on for more about the laws surrounding condominiums and insurance in New Jersey.

What New Jersey Act Regulates the Creation of Condominiums?

The act that regulates the creation of condos in New Jersey is the New Jersey Condominium Act. It’s also sometimes referred to as the “Condominium Act” or by its citation as N.J. Stat. § 46:8B-1 et seq. The act establishes the framework for creating and operating condominiums in the state. It covers topics including: How a condo can be established through a recorded master deed; the required content of the master deed, including details about units, common areas, and ownership rights; and the rights and responsibilities of condo owners and condo associations

Who Regulates Condos in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, condo creation and operations are overseen by a combination of entities: the New Jersey Legislature, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, and the court system. Additionally, the master deed and bylaws of each association play an important role; each association has its own governing documents with specific rules and regulations. The bylaws must conform to the New Jersey Condominium Act.

It’s important to note that the Department of Community Affairs does not regulate all aspects of condo life: Instead, the DCA enforces certain provisions of the Condominium Act, including open public meeting requirements and dispute resolution procedures.

Who Is Responsible for Repairs in a New Jersey Condo?

Responsibility for repairs in a New Jersey condo depends on who or what caused the damage, as well as where the damage is located. The general repair framework is laid out in the Act; however, the condo’s governing documents lay out the exact division of responsibility between the condo association and the individual homeowner.

In general, the condo association is responsible for the common elements of the community (what the Condo Act calls “all common elements and structural portions”), such as:

  • Roofs
  • Exterior walls
  • Hallways
  • Elevators
  • Landscaping
  • Swimming pools
  • Parking lots

The condo association is also responsible for maintaining both general liability and property insurance per the Act.

The individual owner is responsible for the interior of their unit, including:

  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Ceilings
  • Fixtures
  • Appliances
  • Plumbing

Subrogation is not mentioned in the Act. Additionally, the Act does not address whether unit owners may obtain their own insurance policies to provide further coverage. Since the Act does not explicitly prohibit nor require additional insurance, unit owners should consider purchasing individual insurance policies to provide supplemental coverage.

How Do I File a Complaint Against My HOA in NJ?

It’s always best to attempt to resolve complaints informally by following the dispute resolution procedures laid out in the master policy and bylaws. If this does not resolve your complaint, your next step is likely to be filing a complaint with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). To do so, go to their website and submit the relevant form. This form also contains information about what kinds of complaints the DCA can address.

What Is the Condo Inspection Law in NJ?

The condo inspection law is a relatively recent law that aims to ensure the safety of condominiums and cooperative buildings through mandatory structural inspections. This law (also known as S2760/A4384, or the Landmark New Jersey Condominium Structural Inspection Law) is intended to prevent tragedies like the 2021 Florida Surfside condominium collapse. It requires condo associations to arrange for periodic inspections by a licensed structural engineer and to maintain enough funds to cover any necessary repairs revealed through the inspection process.

Further Resources on Insurance Coverage Law

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