How does an individual condo owner file a claim with the master insurance?

Additional Information:

We bought a condo in a building with 4 units in Needham. Three units have been sold and occupied for at least a year, including ours. The last unit just passed papers recently.  The original owner of the land holds the trust as well as the Master Insurance Policy, but has never created a bank account or reserve account for the Association nor has he handed-off the association as he was waiting for all four units to be sold.  More pressing is the fact that three of our four units have had water damage. We need to file a claim with the Master Insurance, but are unable to as he is still legally the Trustee.  What legal steps can we take?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:
The developer is likely required to have turned over control of the association to the unit owners,  as the “turnover” event has already occurred.     I recommend that you review the declaration of trust and follow the procedures set forth in that document for convening a meeting of the unit owners for the purpose of electing trustees.   Once trustees are elected,  their status as trustees should be reflected in a document filed in the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds.  Once elected, the trustees will have the right to advance a claim against the master insurance policy.   Even in the absence of trustee elections, individual unit owners still have the right to contact the insurance company, though the insurer may not wish to deal with the individual owners. 

Attorney Alan Fanger handles real estate and condo disputes in Newton, Massachusetts and the nearby Greater Boston Metrowest region including the communities of: Concord, Framingham, Lincoln, Natick, Needham, Sudbury, Wellesley, and Weston, MA.


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