Intruder Break-In Damages Door – Letter to the Editor

January 2021

Our condominium was broken into while out shopping.  We returned to find our front door forced open by damaging the main door bolt and lock.  Our unit was a mess with jewelry and cash stolen.

The property manager said the damaged door no longer meets fire regulation standards and must be replaced.  The quote is over $1,600 for replacement of the birch wood door.  We have been informed the cost for a replacement door plus emergency locksmith services must be paid by us.

Isn’t the front door part of common elements and these costs paid by property management?





Response from Toronto Condo News

Having your home broken into is a personal intrusion and I’m sorry to hear you must deal with this.  While condominium buildings generally have a higher level of security than single-family homes, break-ins do occur.

The front door of a high-rise condominium is part of common elements.  When damage to common elements is known to have occurred because of actions by a resident or their guest(s), costs to repair can be charged back to the unit owner.  From your description damage was caused by an unknown intruder you did not allow into your building.  Assuming this to be the case it is unclear how you can be financially responsible for repairing this damage.

Property management does not pay repair cost.  Condominium corporations maintain insurance to protect themselves against damage including that caused by intruders.  Most likely, the amount of this claim is sufficiently small that it would have to be paid by the condominium corporation and not the insurer.  If your community has security cameras, they may have captured an image of the intruder which could be provided to police.  With some luck, the intruder may be identified and your stolen items retrieved.

Assuming you did file an insurance claim with your insurer for theft of cash and jewelry, perhaps you should also claim for damage to the door and emergency services?  If door replacement and servicing costs are your responsibility they may be covered under your policy.  If these costs are indeed the responsibility of the condominium corporation, they may advise you on how to proceed.