Neighbor claims water damage from my unit

4 Replies

We own 2 units in a 4 unit townhome.  Neighbor emails me today stating that water from one of my units gutter has caused damage in her unit.  A bit more info - Last month I replaced the roof on my two units (end unit and 3rd of 4 units).  The complaining neighbor decided at the last minute she could not afford a new roof so opted out.  These town-homes are 15 years old and are in need of new roofs throughout.   We experienced leaks so replaced the roofs promptly.

Neighbor contacts roofer last week and tells him he installed the flashing along our shared roof line improperly.  We hired a well known, quality company.  They showed up the next day, unbeknownst to me and conducted a full inspection and found nothing wrong with their install.  They did notice the gutter, in their opinion, could use an extended flashing from the gutter lip up the neighbors siding that is in direct contact with our shared wall.  So they made this modification.

She now wants me to pay to repair her siding and the water damage inside her garage and guest bedroom.  Having never experienced this type of issue, what should I do next?

Start by calling your attorney, then (assuming your attorneys approval), your insurance company. This is why we have attorneys and insurance - for situations such as these.

Hi Phil,

Maybe it's just a coat of water stain sealing primer and wall repaint. Maybe she will do the work herself?

If she wants whole rooms repainted maybe just pay for the water stained walls.

Good Luck!

Agree with @Theresa Harris

Have an insurance company work on it..

I did not have leak cases, had some slip and fall cases , and one victim got after me.  I offered the guy $500 to go away, with an insurance deductible of $1,000, but the man wanted $5000. After a few months of back and forth, called my insurance agent and she said "why are you dealing with it, the insurance company has a whole department of lawyers and you paid for it". Make sense, right.

I did turn it over to insurance but was told I should've notified them within 30 days. None the less, they gave me a case number, and I told the man that he has to deal with the insurance from now on. So the important thing for you is turn it over quickly.

The man then got a lawyer. Heard later the lawyer work on contingency, and gave up after six months when his demand letters didn't scare anyone. Learned this when the man came back, and begged for his $500. I said "you're a few months late for this."

Funny when I talked to the insurance agent later, she said all they did in the case was issue a case number and wait for the opposing lawyer to file a case, which is too much a bother for lawyers in most of these cases. And then, they would deal with the contractors insurance company in your case, a whole separate matter.

Speaking about lawyers working on contingency, I was at a meeting with my lawyer once when he had to take an important call with me in his office. Turned out he took a case on contingency, his letters didn't scare anyone, so he's looking for someone else to take the case. The scary thing here was he wrote a will for me, finally got it, and my wife read the whole 15 pages which I wouldn't have, and she shouted "that's not what we want". Called the lawyer up, and after he looked into it said "sorry, I gave my paralegal a similar will to copy from, then somehow, things got mixed up, and she copied from the wrong one".