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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    7

    Exclamation Water Damage Due to Negligence

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

    On Saturday, December 7, 2019 I was awoken by the gentleman who owns the condominium that I am connected to. He told me his crawl space was flooded and asked me to check my crawl space. Sure enough, my crawl space was completely full of water. He told me that the boys that rent his condo had called him earlier in the week because they had received a citation from the city citing excessive water usage. He right away went to work first pumping the water from his condo and then he pumped the water from my crawl space. The process took the entire day well into the night. While we were waiting he showed us his garage. There was water and calcified stains on one side of the floor. He said he had no idea how long the leak was going for because his tenants don't use their garage and he hadn't been by in sometime. Once he had pumped the majority of the water he left. The following day he was back placing fans and dehumidifiers in his crawl space and told me he had fixed the leak and that my side was my resoncibility and I needed to do the same along with replace all the insulation because it was no good.
    I am confused because the city gave him the citation for excessive water usage and also his excuse for not being aware of the leak was his tenants never went into the garage and he had not been by to check on the property to know if there was anything wrong. Also hoa states that repairs have to be done by a licensed plumber and then checked by the property manager. How am I to know where the repair was done and if the repair was done right? How am I responsible for damages to my condominium because he failed to check on his property and his tenants not going into their garage to notice water coming up because the leaked had completely flood the entire foundation? Even now one week later there is puddles in the crawl space because the ground is saturated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    8,238

    Default Re: Water Damage Due to Negligence

    Well, it's not surprising that he won't admit to liability for this. But from your description of things, it sounds like there is a reasonable shot at a claim against the neighbor and/or his tenants for negligence. Check your HOA documents in case they require that each homeowner is responsible for his own unit repairs regardless of negligence of other owners. While not common, some HOAs have that kind of provision. If your HOA does not have such a provision then you may wish to consider suing the neighbor and/or his tenants for the damage done. See a Colorado personal injury lawyer for that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Water Damage Due to Negligence

    In the meantime however, in order to prevent mold from forming, you need to get your crawl space dried out. You cannot wait to force the neighbor to do it, you will simply have to sue the neighbor for whatever it costs you to do it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,340

    Default Re: Water Damage Due to Negligence

    Quote Quoting AlexG
    View Post
    Also hoa states that repairs have to be done by a licensed plumber and then checked by the property manager. How am I to know where the repair was done and if the repair was done right?
    Ask your neighbor for documentation of the repair and ask the HOA management if there was an inspection.

    Quote Quoting AlexG
    View Post


    Even now one week later there is puddles in the crawl space because the ground is saturated.
    Please note Ilworking's comment. It's a legal doctrine called "mitigation of damages." If your damage gets worse because you delayed repairs, you pay the difference yourself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Water Damage Due to Negligence

    Thank you for responding! This morning I spoke to a rep of our HOA. She told me that the owner of the adjoining condominium had notified them of his water leak and that it had been fixed. She was not aware that hiis tenants had been alerted by the city of excessive water usage or that our crawl space was also flooded. However she was under the impression that we were responsible for our unit. I then reminded her of article VIII, section 3 of the HOA Declaration Of Covenants, "In the event that the need for maintenance or repair is caused by willful or negligent act that party shall be resoncibile." The tenants called him and told him about the over water usage and that the city suspected a water leak he failed alert me and he then waited for the weekend to come by. Hasn't the failure to alert me that there is a suspected leak that can damage my unit an example of negligence? I work from home so had either party alerted me I would have had a plumber fix the leak and avoided the damage to both units. In stead the leak went unfixed for days allowing the entire foundation to flood. How do we share responsibility for damages?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    47.606 N 122.332 W in body, still at 90 S in my mind.
    Posts
    1,678

    Default Re: Water Damage Due to Negligence

    Where, exactly was the leak? From what you describe it may not be negligence. That said, it wouldn't relieve him of responsibility for the repairs. Even if you had known depending where the leak was there would've been little that you could do about it.

    Have the crawl space inspected by a reputable remediation contractor so that you can get a good assessment as to what the actual damages are and proceed from there.
    "Where do those stairs go?"
    "They go up!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,340

    Default Re: Water Damage Due to Negligence

    Quote Quoting AlexG
    View Post
    Hasn't the failure to alert me that there is a suspected leak that can damage my unit an example of negligence?
    No. The failure to notify you for, what, two days, is not negligence. Besides, whatever damage you have likely occurred before the tenants or the owner were notified by the city. Another two days wouldn't have made anything worse.

    I don't see you winning in court over this.

    I suggest you contact your homeowners insurance company. It might be covered by your policy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Water Damage Due to Negligence

    The City issued a "Water Ticket" due to excessive usage on December 2nd. My neighbor chose not to notify me of the Water Ticket and not to act promptly to avoid damage. Had I been notified of the Water Ticket I would not have risked the possibility of severe damage. I could have had a plumber come and investigate the source. Instead my neighbor decided for both of us and allowed a water leak that resulted in damage to both our homes to go unchecked for 5 days How am I 50% responsible for something I knew nothing about or given oppurtunity to remedy?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Water Damage Due to Negligence

    Quote Quoting AlexG
    View Post
    The City issued a "Water Ticket" due to excessive usage on December 2nd. My neighbor chose not to notify me of the Water Ticket and not to act promptly to avoid damage. Had I been notified of the Water Ticket I would not have risked the possibility of severe damage. I could have had a plumber come and investigate the source. Instead my neighbor decided for both of us and allowed a water leak that resulted in damage to both our homes to go unchecked for 5 days How am I 50% responsible for something I knew nothing about or given oppurtunity to remedy?
    You can certainly discuss any options you might have with a local attorney. However, it is critical that you dry your property out immediately if you don't want mold and further damage.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Greeley, CO
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Water Damage Due to Negligence

    I don't know where the leak was my neighbor fixed it before showing me. When he notified the HOA he said "he had a water leak that caused flooding but that it was now fixe. Oddly he also mentioned a large hole between our condos. He did not mention that our unit also suffered flooding also there isn't a hole of any kind down there.
    He felt responsible to pump the water from the crawl space but some how doesn't feel responsible for the rest?

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