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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Upstairs Unit's Crack in Tub Caused Leak

    I'm a first floor condo owner in the state of California.

    Back in April, I noticed a thumping noise behind my shower, and a little bit of water leaking from my tub. I called the on-site condo management company. They sent maintenance people to the unit above me to check things out.

    Apparently, they "didn't find anything", and nothing ever happened. I'm mad at myself I didn't continue to follow up, but I have been ridiculously busy lately.

    Things were fine until June 2nd. Once again, I heard the thumping noise and saw water. Once again, reported it to the management company. They said they'd put in a "work order." No word back all day.

    Next day, I wake up in the morning to the thumping, and my bathroom is FLOODED! All the way into my hall closet and carpet.

    Turns out, there was a leak in the pipes on the THIRD floor. My upstairs neighbor's tub filled up. And because she had a crack, the water came down to my unit.

    Thankfully I have condo insurance - I called my insurance company-got a carpet guy out right away to deal with the carpet water. I was convinced it was the association's responsibility, but I checked the CC&R's. It IS their responsibility EXCEPT in the case of owner negligence.

    Turns out, the woman above me has a giant crack in her tub.

    I'm having problems getting this resolved because my claims adjuster is LAME - she NEVER picks up her phone. And when she calls and leaves me vm, she never tells me when I can call her back and catch her.

    She also failed to have the appraiser call me or give him any information.

    She also claimed she never got my paperwork, even tho I emailed it to her at the email address she gave me WEEKS ago.

    Anyway, that is neither here nor there - my question is, why should I have to pay for all this, and THEN go after the neighbor?

    Also, does the condo mgmt bear any responsibility?

    The water leak detection company that came out said they are pretty sure this was caused by the neighbors tub but won't know for sure til the walls and ceiling get opened up, and the pipes get checked.

    MY neighbor wants to send HER plumber down here to investigate at the same time when I do that. Should I let her plumber come? Or will that bite me in the butt later?

    Any help would be appreciated. I know I need to get this taken care of right away before mold results but now I'm worried cuz I DID report this, back in April! Who knows how much water damage has resulted since then.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Upstairs Unit's Crack in Tub Caused Leak

    One thing nice about the condo insurance is that they pay you, and then they worry about if it's the neighbor or the HOA responsible. They have a legal department, and performs all the legal reviews. The other thing about insurance is things always takes longer than necessary.

    So, if the HOA is responsible, they go after the HOA's insurance under subrogation. Presumably, the neighbor upstairs most likely has liability insurance, so your insurance could go after this insurance if that's the case.

    You on the other hand, would need a lawyer on your dime to cover the legal issues, and do all the other investigating, if you pursue on your own. If I were you, I would go after the management of the insurance company to find out how come it's taking so long, and in my state, NY, I can also file a complaint with the insurance department.

    And if the neighbor wants to send a plumber down to take a look, by all means let her do it. It's not only neighborly, and if you want to have someone else pay for damages, that someone else is certainly entitled to take a look.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Upstairs Unit's Crack in Tub Caused Leak

    Cool-thanks for the reply. Now things are being delayed because I have to have an asbestos test before the water damage restoration company can do their work.

    In working with my upstairs neighbor on resolving this, I am starting to think it is more the HOA's responsibility.

    The reason is--a little over 2 months ago, I heard a pounding noise behind my shower wall, and saw water leaking from my tub on that side.

    I reported it to the HOA management. They went to my neighbor's place, determined they could not find anything wrong, and pretty much let the matter drop.

    Then on June 2nd, I heard the same noise again and a little bit of leaking.

    Once again, I called and reported it. The stupid secretary who I always get stuck talking to when I call said "we'll put in a work order on it."

    Of course, nothing was done.

    Following day, I wake up and my bathroom is flooded. And my neighbor's tub is flooded. They claim, a pipe on the 3rd floor backed up, filling my neighbor's tub. The crack in her tub supposedly then caused the problem in my unit.

    So, they are obviously trying to defer responsibility to her; however, how could the crack in her tub have caused this when I clearly heard knocking in the WALL, not the ceiling, behind my shower? She's apparently had the crack in her tub for a long time.

    Her plumber friend doesn't think the crack caused the problem.

    Anyway, she and I are going to write a letter explaining what happened. I have asked her to try to find the work order resolution form they gave her, back 2 months ago when I first complained, so we have something in writing to show that this was NOT resolved-they never did a full investigation -they obviously did NOT take this problem seriously.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Upstairs Unit's Crack in Tub Caused Leak

    I tend to agree it's HOA responsibility. There were a few recent thread on this subject, where I answered. See link:

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