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  1. #1

    Default Recourse for Victim of a Leak from an Upstairs Condo

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Virginia

    My bathroom ceiling has been damaged by a slow leak from the unit above for many months. I thought the leaking pipe/seal had been repaired, I duct-taped the peeling drywall and waited for the HOA to make the necessary repair. I got tired of waiting (they are very slow) so I paid to have the drywall work done myself. Within hours, the new drywall became stained and moist, so it turns out the leak had never been repaired at all.

    Through email communications with the unit owner and HOA, turns out they don't agree on who is responsible and they are both directing me to the other for a resolution.

    I'm very happy to pay for the repair to my ceiling myself when the leak is resolved but I feel like I'm now the mediator in this dispute. I have emails where each one is blaming the other. Is there anything I can do? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Recourse for Victim of a Leak from an Upstairs Condo

    Is there a good solution? Not particularly.... For example, you can sue them both and let them fight out their dispute against each other in court....

    Review the CC&Rs and bylaws to see if there is any recourse or remedy in this situation -- whether, for example, you could shift this dispute into some form of dispute resolution proceedings and, if so, how the costs of the proceedings would be paid (i.e., if you would have to pay money).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Recourse for Victim of a Leak from an Upstairs Condo

    Quote Quoting Julie Huggins
    View Post

    My bathroom ceiling has been damaged by a slow leak from the unit above for many months. I thought the leaking pipe/seal had been repaired,
    Exactly what pipe/seal is leaking?

    Depending on the answer, you might have to cut out part of your ceiling to access and repair the pipe and then seek reimbursement.

    Whether you can get reimbursed depends on the chain of events.

    For example: You discover the leak, you notify the upstairs neighbor, that's the first they know of a hidden leak so there is no negligence there, so they are not responsible for your repairs.

    However, if they subsequently did not do the repairs and your ceiling gets damaged again, this time it's negligence and they are responsible for the second set of repairs.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Recourse for Victim of a Leak from an Upstairs Condo

    Thanks very much, supposedly the building engineer went back into my neighbor's unit to investigate again, but I haven't been informed of the outcome.

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    Exactly what pipe/seal is leaking?

    However, if they subsequently did not do the repairs and your ceiling gets damaged again, this time it's negligence and they are responsible for the second set of repairs.
    Depending on who's doing the talking it's a seal in the toilet that was repaired and the problem is in one of the pipes (per the neighbor), or the toilet seal repair was done improperly (per the building engineer).

    The HOA said they were going into his unit again to re-inspect but I haven't heard any update.

    I'm a bit concerned about how long I should take to allow them to come to a resolution. The prospect of living with a molding ceiling for possibly another 6-12 months isn't pleasant.

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