S.T. from Bergen County, New Jersey writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Construction work was being done at the unit below my condo and debris/dust came through the vent and made a huge mess of my condo. When I told the building supervisor, he advised me to send the management company an email with pictures. I did that and asked if they can have a professional come in and clean my apartment. I requested that because I don’t believe that was a healthy task for me to take on. They advised me if I needed this done immediately to hire a cleaning company/ pay for it and submit the bill to them. After I had the services rendered I ask the property manager where to send the invoice. She advised to send it to her and she can forward but I should know that the contractor agreed to pay up to $100. The cleaning costs exceeded that and I do not believe I should eat any of the costs for this. How do I go about this because I have no intention of paying this myself or getting my insurance company involved?
Mister Condo replies:
S.T., I am sorry that you found yourself on the receiving end of another unit owner’s construction dust and debris. Honestly, this is a claim for your homeowners’ insurance. If you are unwilling to go down that path and you are not willing to accept the $100 being offered, then your only other option might be Small Claims Court. If it were me, I would put the claim through my insurance. That is what it is for and that is why you pay your annual premium to protect you from accidents that damage the interior of your home. It is quite possible that your insurer will go after the contractor’s insurer for the entire repair bill. Good luck!