A.D. from Cook County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I am inquiring about my aunt who lives in a 6-unit condo and had damage done to her condo from the unit owner above. The damage was $350.00 and my aunt presented the bill for the damage and the unit owner refuses to pay. Is there anything my aunt can do to receive the money? My aunt is elderly and any helpful information would be appreciated.
Mister Condo replies:
A.D., I am sorry that your aunt is on the short end of $350.00 repair bill for damage caused by the upstairs neighboring unit. Unfortunately, it sounds like the upstairs unit owner isn’t going to step up and do the right thing and pay for the damage they caused. However, they may not be under any obligation to do so unless you can prove true negligence. At the end of the day, taking this unit owner to court for $350.00 is a losing proposition as it would cost more time, money, and effort than you could hope to collect. If your aunt has a homeowner’s insurance policy (and the deductible is less than $350.00 and she is willing to put in a claim), you might get some relief from her insurance. Other than that, I am afraid I don’t have better news for you. It is certainly unfair and unfortunate that an elderly unit owner has to pay for this type of damage, but, from a homeowner standpoint, it is her burden to bare. Hopefully, this is a one-time only occurrence. All the best!