M.N. from San Diego County, California writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My neighbor’s bathroom ceiling got mold and damage and a cracked ceiling. My plumber came over and found the problem was from leaking inside of my bathroom valve. I called insurance to file a claim and they approve to fix my bathroom, but denied to fix the neighbor downstairs’. The neighbor unit said that I am liable for the damage. My insurance said that this is not my fault or neglect act cause. I don’t know what to do when neighbor wants to bring this to small court. Should I pay out of pocket money to fix this? Or let insurance deals with neighbor? Please help me.
Mister Condo replies:
M.N., I am sorry that you and your neighbor find yourselves in the middle of this unfortunate situation. Neither of you have done anything wrong and there really wasn’t anything either of you could have done to prevent the damage. Has your neighbor put in a claim with their insurance over the matter? Typically, when damage occurs inside on a unit, it is the unit owner’s insurance that covers their damage. If your neighbor hasn’t put in their own claim, that could clear this up pretty quickly. If they refuse to put in a claim or don’t have insurance, they may wish to take the matter to court. At that point, you should speak to an attorney and find out how much it would cost to defend. Once you know that amount, you can determine if it is better to settle with the neighbor or fight them in court. It really depends on how much money is involved and how much it is worth it to you to keep the peace with your neighbor. All the best!