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Apartment upstairs leaks into lower unit, causes damage - who's at fault? what to do?

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  • Dec 27th, 2012 2:43 pm
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Apr 28, 2010
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Apartment upstairs leaks into lower unit, causes damage - who's at fault? what to do?

Ok so long story short, my buddy had some water damage in his unit after the upstairs unit leaked water, and I don't think either of them have insurance. After talking with the Landlord & Tenant Board, they told him to go after the owner of the building, not the renter upstairs. So he went to court last week, and lost against the building owner.

I was shocked to hear the verdict. How does a unit leak, causes damage, and no one is responsible?! I know getting legal advice from an online forum isn't recommended, but if ya'll have anything (who to contact, what steps you would do, etc...) it'd be great :)
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Aug 14, 2012
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AB
Maybe nobody was at fault? What was damaged of his. Is this a condo that he owns or an apartment that he rents? Did he lose anything valuable to the water damage?
[OP]
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turkey9000 wrote:
Dec 23rd, 2012 2:12 pm
Maybe nobody was at fault? What was damaged of his. Is this a condo that he owns or an apartment that he rents? Did he lose anything valuable to the water damage?
His tv got jacked up, and the tv stand got warped in some parts. It's a rental.
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Aug 14, 2012
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AB
I guess then it would depend how the leak occurred, and how fast people were to react.

Like if a pipe burst and the landlord immediately tried to fix it, well thats just life. Pipes burst. If the tenant upstairs left their sink on overnight, different story. If the the leak happened from pure negligence to the property on the landlords part, again, different story. There is no 1 size fits all here. But generally pipes burst over time and thats not really anyones fault.
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Nov 19, 2004
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Generally if you do not take out insurance then it is at your own risk if something happens.
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Oct 24, 2012
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pete_rfd wrote:
Dec 23rd, 2012 2:04 pm
I was shocked to hear the verdict. How does a unit leak, causes damage, and no one is responsible?!
The building owner (and his insurance) is responsible to pay for damages caused TO the building.
Renter's insurance isn't just for theft, but also fire and water damages.
If the building catches fire and you have no renter's insurance, it's not the building owner's responsibility to buy you new stuff.
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Mar 20, 2009
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The party upstairs is responsible. This has happened in my mother's condo building a couple of times, and the party owning or renting the suite where the leak occurred is liable for any damages in the suite below. Their insurance should pay, assuming they have any.
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Apr 4, 2009
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Tenant (content) insurance is surprisingly affordable/cheap.
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Busybuyer888 wrote:
Dec 23rd, 2012 11:15 pm
Tenant (content) insurance is surprisingly affordable/cheap.
Yes, usually around $10/month.

I help my tenants get insurance for a very low cost. I provide all the forms and make sure they know they are getting a great deal (less than $10/month) and I explain why it's important.

Because my own insurance is with the company, I can get a discount for my tenants. Let's all save money, and also be safe!

Good landlords - Good tenants. Win - Win! That's the way I do business. Tenants, be tough and thorough and find landlords who do business the right way!

We are out there, find us. We want to find you.
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JamesA1 wrote:
Dec 23rd, 2012 3:40 pm
The party upstairs is responsible. This has happened in my mother's condo building a couple of times, and the party owning or renting the suite where the leak occurred is liable for any damages in the suite below. Their insurance should pay, assuming they have any.
I agree...had that happened. My insurance company sued the upstairs owners insurance company. Then the upstairs owner insurance company sued the water heater company that failed to provide maintenance. (It was a rental). LOL
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Aug 14, 2007
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ya surprised at how many don't get tenant insurance. I think mine was $8/month for like 25k coverage
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Vladimir wrote:
Dec 25th, 2012 11:26 am
ya surprised at how many don't get tenant insurance. I think mine was $8/month for like 25k coverage
AND it typically covers you if you get sued for accidentally starting a fire and the other tenants want you to pay for their burned stuff.
AND it builds up your client history as a insured person (just like car insurance) so when you get to the big stuff (own property), you'll have that extra mileage to your history to get a better price.
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Nov 9, 2008
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so insurance is good and we all should have it, right. that's all good but is the person upstairs at fault or not?? i'd lreally like to know that. i think that's what the op was asking for too..

most insurance companies will just pay the damages and increase your premiums instead of worrying about suing people-if the damage is not much.

i'd really like to know why they lost the court
and why the guy wasnt at fault.. i live in an apt building too.

thanks
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Mar 21, 2010
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d5486 wrote:
Dec 25th, 2012 10:24 pm
and why the guy wasnt at fault.. i live in an apt building too.
Because they didn't sue the guy (the upstairs tenant). They sued the building owner. So all we know is that the building owner wasn't found to be at fault.
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