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From the Forum – Neighbor’s Toilet Overflowed – who’s liable for damages?

by Prince Of Petworth March 27, 2015 at 2:10 pm 27 Comments

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Miki J.

Neighbor’s Toilet Overflowed – who’s liable for damages?:

“Upstairs neighbor’s toilet overflowed last weekend. Flushed, left and about an hour later water was dripping from our bathroom vent (ceiling) and down the wall that holds our fusebox. Neighbor turned off toilet, stopping the dripping water but about an hour later we noticed water dripping and pooling under the paint in the ceiling of our dining room (about 12 feet from our toilet which has the same layout as the condo unit upstairs). About a gallon of water in total came down from 2-3 places.

We have since had a water repair specialist come out and using a density scanner was able to determine that there’s water in at least 3 of our walls, the bathroom ceiling and the dining room ceiling.

Neighbor is claiming the building’s master insurance policy should pay though my reading of our by-laws indicates it should be the unit owner’s personal policy. Neighbor has claimed a call was put in to their insurance but that insurance company will not cover this. I’m skeptical the call has even been placed. It’s now been almost a week since the incident and we have gnats starting to appear though I can’t be certain that’s related since I can’t find the source.

My understanding is that a homeowners insurance policy has a liability clause that should cover damage to other units, but I’m by no means an expert. I don’t want to get my insurance involved as I was told I have to file a claim / pay the deductible regardless of whether or not my insurance is able to get subrogation from neighbor’s.

Help! Any advice on how to get my neighbor to cooperate, what your understanding of insurance in these situations covers, whether I should bite the bullet and pay my deductible, call a lawyer or whatever else would be very helpful!”

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