R.K. from outside of Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live on the second floor of a three-story condo complex. About a month ago, the AC of the unit above me started leaking water and created a two-foot diameter bubble in the ceiling in my dining area and started leaking water.
The owner came over the next day to inspect the damage and said he would take care of it. He told me that he has full coverage and that I should work with his insurance company. I worked with his insurance company for the past month trying to recover the cost of repairs and living expenses during the repair as my family had to live in a hotel temporarily. I paid nearly $7300 for the cost of repair and living expenses.
The owner’s insurance will not cover the expenses and they have found the owner not negligent. Should I take the owner to small claims court or file a claim with my own insurance?
Mister Condo replies:
R.K., you should absolutely take the owner of the unit with the faulty A/C to court and you should do so with haste. In fact, you probably should have done so at the very beginning of this process to expedite the proceedings. I am not an attorney so please consider my advice as friendly. For a proper legal opinion, you may wish to seek the services of an attorney to fully represent you. Depending on your state laws, you may be able to claim the attorney expense as part of your settlement agreement.
You should also document as much of the cause and effect as possible. Take lots of pictures showing the positioning of the A/C and the resultant damage caused by the leaking water. Document everything, including the actions of the unit owner who claimed he would “take care of it”. It’s funny how when his insurance company decides not to pay you may find him changing his tune. He may not have though of taking care of it as including paying for your hotel accommodations while your unit was repaired. This is where the services of an attorney may prove quite useful to you. Good luck!