Condo Unit Owner’s Contractor Damages Temporary Fix on Neighbor’s Roof

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A.B. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I recently replaced a new centralized AC system. My contractor stepped on someone else’s ceiling. We found out that the ceiling was damaged before and an on-site contractor put a temp fix e.g. a piece of wood on the hole. The contractor refused to repair the ceiling because it was already damaged before. The Condo Association demanded that I fix the damage and the other owner who caused the prior damage is not responsible to fix the issue period. Does this sound right to you? How do I find out what exactly the law says? Thanks.

Mister Condo replies:

A.B., this is a most unfortunate situation. I hope no one was injured. This is a classic “he says, she says” scenario, which will be very difficult to prove one way or the other. If the contractor who most recently damaged the roof has insurance (he should), it may be as simple as him placing an insurance claim to repair the area of damaged roof that he stepped on. If he can prove it was damaged before he further damaged it, he may be off the hook but that doesn’t help you necessarily as this roof was in working order before your contractor caused the current damage. Perhaps another temporary fix could be put in place until the original on-site contractor makes a better repair than the temporary repair?  Whatever the outcome, it is truly unfortunate that the initial repair wasn’t in place before your contractor stepped on the roof. This is exactly the kind of issue I would expect to head to court or mediation. Good luck!

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