Leak from condo above me caused water damage to my Fl Condo

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Latest post 04-24-2012 5:05 PM by adjuster jack. 5 replies.
  • 04-23-2012 3:56 PM

    • Ugabuga
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 04-23-2012
    • FL
    • Posts 2

    Leak from condo above me caused water damage to my Fl Condo

    Hello,

    Saturday night(4/21/12) I came home to find my hallway floor soaked. I looked further into it and discovered my bathroom floor was soaked and the ceiling, cabinet, and wall was wet with the paint bubbling out. The wall seperates both my bathrooms and on the other side the paint began bubbling up, though not as bad. I called my HOA emergency number who sent out a plumber later that night. The cause of the leak was determined to be inside the unit directly above me as i am on the 1st floor. He had her shut off her water and told her to only use it when needed.

     

    This morning(4/23/12) i went to speak to the HOA who informed me the plumber returned this morning and confirmed that the leak is indeed in her place and that the HOA is not responsible due to this. I asked for some paperwork confirming what plumber found but they are giving me the run-around. They did tell me the plumber said it should be fixed tomorrow. 

     

    Now I am not sure how to procede. I spoke to my insurance company but did not officially enter in a claim as I have a $1000 deductible. What i want to find out is if I have a claim against the owner for the property damage caused from the leak? I am also worried about potential mold in the drywall. Lastly, how do i protect myself from this happening again in the future?

    Any assistance in the correct course of action would be greatly appreciated. Should i speak to a lawyer and attempt to sue her directly or eat the deductible and let my insurance hash it out? Is there any way to recoup the costs?

     

     


  • 04-23-2012 3:59 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 48,948

    Re: Leak from condo above me caused water damage to my Fl Condo

    Odds are that until the point she was aware she had a leak  there was no negligence on her part and if she never was aware of the apparently hidden leak I think you are up the creek to get her to pay unless she "volunteers to help.



  • 04-23-2012 4:07 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
      Consumer
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-01-2005
    • CA
    • Posts 6,017

    Re: Leak from condo above me caused water damage to my Fl Condo

    In order to prevail legally, you would have to prove that she was negligent.

    The chances are good that she was not aware of the leak until you and/or the plumber made her aware of it. Most leaks of this nature are within the walls and not obvious to anyone until they occur or when a weakened but not plainly visible pipe finally ruptures.. That makes proving her negligence very hard.

    I would make the claim against your homeowners insurance.

     

  • 04-23-2012 4:15 PM In reply to

    Re: Leak from condo above me caused water damage to my Fl Condo

    Ugabuga:
    What i want to find out is if I have a claim against the owner for the property damage caused from the leak?

    As Drew pointed out, if the leak was hidden, sudden and unforseen, there is no negligence and you'd have no claim against the upstairs owner.

    Ugabuga:
    I am also worried about potential mold in the drywall.

    Then you'll have to tear out the drywall, have a mold inspection, and remediate the mold if appropriate.

    Ugabuga:
    Lastly, how do i protect myself from this happening again in the future?

    Unless you have some precognitive abilities, you can't protect youself from this happening again in the future.

    Ugabuga:
    Should i speak to a lawyer

    Couldn't hurt. But he's likely to tell you the same thing I'm telling you.

    Ugabuga:
    attempt to sue her directly

    You'd probably lose, especially since her insurance company will hire a very good lawyer to defend her.

    Ugabuga:
    or eat the deductible and let my insurance hash it out?

    Chances are that your insurance company's investigation will reveal no negligence and they won't go after her for reimbursement after paying your claim.

    If you want more information about how negligence law applies to condo water damage, we have a long running thread about it:

    http://community.lawyers.com/forums/p/84712/587361.aspx#587361

    By the way, I suggest you look into reducing your deductible since $1000 is not to your liking. Look at rates for $500 and $250 and see what works best for you. My experience is that $1000 deductible does not have enough of a premium discount to make it worthwhile. 

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 04-24-2012 4:56 PM In reply to

    • Ugabuga
      Consumer
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 04-23-2012
    • FL
    • Posts 2

    Re: Leak from condo above me caused water damage to my Fl Co...

    Update:

    Plumber came today and repaired the pipe in the upstairs unit. He had to cut a sizeable portion of the drywall behind the toilet. The pipe was located in the wall and had a small hole. Underneath the pipe was a drainpan which was full and led to water flowing down into my unit doing the damage.

    The HOA is denying any fault and saying it is not their problem to fix my soaked wall but based on the following I disagree.

    FL Statute 718.111(11#(f# reads as follows:
    #f) Every property insurance policy issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2009, for the purpose of protecting the condominium must provide primary coverage for:
    1. All portions of the condominium property as originally installed or replacement of like kind and quality, in accordance with the original plans and specifications.
    2. All alterations or additions made to the condominium property or association property pursuant to s. 718.113#2).
    3. The coverage must exclude all personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance thereupon is the responsibility of the unit owner.

    I will put a claim into my homeowners insurance if I must but it seems as if they should atleast be held liable for the wall dryout/drywall replacement. Any advice would be helpful

     

     

  • 04-24-2012 5:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Leak from condo above me caused water damage to my Fl Co...

    Ugabuga:

    The HOA is denying any fault and saying it is not their problem to fix my soaked wall but based on the following I disagree.

    FL Statute 718.111(11#(f# reads as follows:
    #f) Every property insurance policy issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2009, for the purpose of protecting the condominium must provide primary coverage for:
    1. All portions of the condominium property as originally installed or replacement of like kind and quality, in accordance with the original plans and specifications.
    2. All alterations or additions made to the condominium property or association property pursuant to s. 718.113#2).
    3. The coverage must exclude all personal property within the unit or limited common elements, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing which are located within the boundaries of the unit and serve only such unit. Such property and any insurance thereupon is the responsibility of the unit owner.

    You're looking in the wrong place.

    All that says is what kind of insurance the HOA has to have.

    Says nothing about whether the HOA is liable for your damage (it isn't).

    That would be addressed in the CC&Rs.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
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