My question involves a condominium located in the State of: Salt Lake City, Utah
I'll try and keep it as brief as possible
I own a condo. I rent it out.
The owner below told the hoa management that their walls had water damage and was getting worse. It was reported to be coming from my water heater I assume they made a guess based on the location of the leaks)
My personal management company came out and looked around, fixed one possible culprit in the bathroom but saw nothing obvious, water heater or otherwise. After another week of back and forth the hoa management sent somone out and they found that it was a pipe under my tub. I belive it's a pipe that, technically, branches off a main pipe and services only my unit.
I filed a claim, and my adjuster says according to the CCRs, it's an hoa responsibility. He also points to a law here (http://le.utah.gov/~2011/htmdoc/sbillhtm/SB0167S01.htm) that backs this up for Utah, where the condo is. I'm not sure I really see that, but he does this all the time, so...
2 months later I get a subrogation notice from the owner's insurance company demanding payment. My adjuster let's them know basically what he told me. That I'm not negligent and they should have pursued collecting from the hoa's insurance. He says even though it's a pipe to my unit, it's not visible and I'm not negligent.
2 months again and I get a letter from a collections agency saying I have 30 days to pay or respond. My claims adjuster reponds to the letter and to the other insurance why he believes it's not my responsibility
My questions are not so much about who is at fault, as the following
1. Is it ok for the other company to send such a letter from a collections agency when they've had no judgement? It seems wrong to me and my adjuster commented the same. He seems dumbfounded wrt their behavior on this. He says it's pretty common and it's pretty cut and dry and their actions are unusual. Is it a common practice to send such letters just to see if someone will simply pay, and it works often enough that it's worth a minimal legal fee?
2. Shouldn't the other insurance be expected to 'work with' my insurance just a little more? My adjuster says they never call back, and the one time he caught the 'subrogation specialist' in the office she just said that I 'should have maintained my water heater'. It sounds as if the 'water heater' theory which was the original theory on the source of the leak, was never clarified by the other owner, or maybe the hoa never clarified TO the owner.
4. Yes I know it's hard to comment without knowing the specific state hoa/condo laws and the CCRs but I'm wondering if there's anything I should be doing or asking? Or do I just wait for the next move? From what I understand my insurance will cover legal fees if it goes any further, I have a business owners policy on this unit.
5. Is there a time limit for the other insurance to file suit from the date of the incident or the claim? It's been over 30 days now since the collections agency letter, about 6 months since the incident, about 5 since the claim
any input is appreciated.