The following information should be used to guide the condo and PUD application process.
1) Defining a Foundation Platform
For purposes of CFSIC’s claim and underwriting guidelines, we define a “foundation platform” as the foundation area on which one or more living units is sited.
CFSIC’s cap of $175,000 per foundation platform will apply with respect to either a Type 1 or Type 2 claim. (If and when the enabling legislation changes, allowing more than four living units on one foundation platform to apply, the cap will increase by $43,750 for each additional unit beyond the first four. This applies to condominiums only.) Because PUD dwelling owners each own their foundations, the cap applies individually to each individual PUD unit and its respective foundation.
First, with specific regard to a PUD, if a homeowner is applying on behalf of a single living unit resting on a single foundation, the applicant should complete either a Type 1 or Type 2 application as the homeowner and owner of the foundation. This can be done at any time. As of March 11, nothing prevents the owner of a single PUD, who also owns the foundation, from applying, if the unit affected is a single unit existing on a single foundation (in other words, what is otherwise a single-family dwelling).
Secondly, for PUD claimants where two or more living units are sited on the same foundation platform (but no more than four), each individual PUD unit owner will be a separate claimant, and must apply and qualify separately.
We have modified CFSIC’s Underwriting and Claims Management Guidelines to accommodate the needs of multiple PUD homeowner units existing on, what is otherwise clear to any observer, a single foundation platform.
Any substantive change to our Underwriting and Claims Management Guidelines requires thirty days’ notice. This notice runs from March 18, 2019.
As of April 18, 2019, a foundation platform containing more than one PUD living unit must adhere to the following protocol before applying to CFSIC:
1) Each individual PUD unit foundation must be inspected by a CT-licensed professional engineer and where that engineer’s written examination report has been done separately for each foundation found immediately below the living unit. (If there are four living units on the same platform…that’s four separate visual examinations.)
2) Each PUD homeowner must apply separately as a CFSIC Type 1 claimant. No association-signed applications will be required. (If there are four living units on the same platform…that’s four separate applications.)
3) HOWEVER, before applying to CFSIC, the homeowners sharing that platform must obtain a minimum of two contractor bids BEFORE these homeowners can individually apply.
This is a departure from CFSIC’s normal application protocol. We are making this departure from the protocol because of two important issues:
A) CFSIC believes it’s important that PUD owners do not apply until it is clear that it is possible to lift all applicable units sharing a foundation platform (or otherwise remediate the foundation through other means) without causing structural damage to a PUD unit owned by a homeowner who declines to participate.
B) The bids from contractors must be clear about how individual units get lifted and/or are otherwise treated if no lifting occurs if, for example, on a four-unit platform, three homeowners say “yes” and one says “no.” (CFSIC cannot become engaged in disputes among homeowners.) If the contractor indicates that it is possible to lift and/or otherwise replace a foundation by not disturbing any structural elements among the homeowners not applying, then individual claims can be made to CFSIC for that platform for those homeowners who want assistance. CFSIC will not accept a claim where a contractor has not represented that a homeowner who has said “no” to participation can remain unaffected by any part of the structural construction process. Said another way…CFSIC will not replace foundations for those who say “yes” if even one common shared platform unit owner says “no”…unless the contractor’s proposal specifically says that this can be done without adversely affecting a dissenting homeowner’s foundation structure.
We would encourage PUD owners, and more importantly PUD associations, to seek legal guidance concerning the subject of homeowners who opt out of replacement participation. This may require an individual release by the dissenting homeowner, for example, granting permission for work on surrounding units on the same platform to occur. CFSIC is not in the business of providing legal advice. CFSIC will not assume any responsibility of any kind, directly or indirectly, for disputes arising out of shared or quasi-shared foundation platforms.
Said simply: CFSIC is in the business of replacing eligible foundations affected by the crumbling foundations natural disaster. However, CFSIC is not in the business of replacing foundations for those who don’t want us to.
PUDs and condos are both subject to the limitation of the current enabling legislation with respect to the existence of greater than four living units on the same foundation platform. (This is true for PUDs, even though technically the PUD unit owner owns the foundation on which the unit is sited.)
With regard to condos, the association will be the applicant to CFSIC.
CFSIC’s board has determined that condo associations can apply to CFSIC in two parts: the first part is for any applicable foundations eligible for Type 1 or Type 2 claim consideration, with the understanding that no foundation platform can have more than four living units sited on it.
Once and if the enabling legislation is changed...a condo association can then subsequently apply, as an association, for all remaining applicable units. (Meaning, foundation platforms where more than four living units are sited on one foundation.) This will mean completing a second application on a one-time basis, covering all remaining units not applied for in the first application.
5) Examination by an Engineer
It’s important to remember that no application can be made to CFSIC with respect to a condo or a PUD unless a visual examination has been conducted by a CT-licensed professional engineer, and that, further, that engineer has assigned a severity class code to the foundation or foundations in question.
Condo associations or individual PUD owners in possession of an existing engineer’s visual examination without a severity class code assigned can get a severity class code assigned in any of the following ways:
- go back to the original engineer having done the work and ask the engineer to severity code the foundation(s) in questions and to have the engineer provide the applicable class codings by way of an amendment to the original report (at the association’s expense); OR
- request that a severity class coding be done by either of the two engineers who have been engaged by CFSIC, and are identified in section #12 of the “For Homeowners” section of this site (at CFSIC’s expense); OR
- engage a new CT-licensed professional engineer of the association’s choice to assign severity class codings to the applicable foundations (at the association’s expense).
The current CFSIC-sponsored foundation severity class coding program, which is due to expire on April 30, 2019, has been extended by the Superintendent through July 31, 2019, in order to accommodate assistance needed by condos and PUDs.
6) Application Process (Condos Only)
Because the CFSIC claim application for a Type 1 or a Type 2 claim has primarily been constructed to accommodate single-family/multi-family dwellings, what follows will provide a condominium association with assistance on how to answer certain questions in the application.
Question 1, Name of claimant: This will be the name of the condo association.
Question 2, Address of claimant: This will be the association’s mailing address, NOT the address of any affected building. You will answer “yes” regarding the address question.
Question 3, Contact phone number: This must be the president of the association.
Question 4, Contact email: This must be the president of the association.
Question 5(a), Is the affected building a single-family dwelling?: You will click “no” and subsequently you will click 5(c).
Question 6, what is the date on which you purchased the affected residential building?: Put the month and year (to the best of your knowledge) on which one of the affected units you are applying for was built. (This cannot be before 1983.)
Question 7, Are you the owner of the residential building?: You should click “yes.”
Question 10, How long have you (or the owner) occupied this residential building?: To answer this question, go back to Question #6 and calculate the number of years from the date of construction to this year.
Question 11, When was this building built (year)?: Type in the same year that you used for Question #6.
The answers to all other questions in either application will be evident by the nature of the remaining questions. Please note that the questions are slightly different from this point forward depending on whether you are completing a Type 1 or Type 2 application.
On the last page of the application, the condominium association’s president must sign the application electronically and then fill in the remainder at the bottom of the application.
Once this has been done, and all points of evidence have been uploaded, the association president should, under separate cover and not as part of the application, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org using the template found here for a condo association.