Q: A pair of weeks in the past, one other house in our rental was having their scorching water heater repositioned. The administration agency solely positioned indicators In a single part notifying that the water Can be shut off. We misplaced water in my unit, so I went outdoors To evaluation. Seeing Nobody round, I noticed that The primary water valve was shut off. As quickly as I opened the valve, it apparently set offed an overflow the place they have been working, damaging the unit the place the heater was being repositioned. Who’s Responsible for the damage?
A: There are two Inquiries to be requested: Who’s Responsible for the damage, and who is liable for it.
There is a lot of blame to go round. The administration agency ought to have correctly notified the residents it was shutting off the water. The contractor ought to have bodily tagged the valve So as that Nobody by probability turned it on. And also you Should not have messed with the valve.
Condo residents Aren’t empohave beend To restore or work on the widespread parts of their group — That is the affiliation’s position.
Obligation differs from authorized responsibility. Figuring out authorized responsibility is completely different in every state. In Florida, we Adjust to the “comparative negligence doctrine” the placeas in Another states, every negligent celebration is equally and absolutely liable for the damage they helped set off.
Comparative negligence Signifies that a courtroom will Chop up up the damage To every accountable celebration in proportion to their share of the fault.
For event, in your case, the administration agency and contractor have been solely barely Responsible for not placing up enough discover of the work, So as that they might be Responsible for a smaller portion of The prices.
Beset off you took it on your self To level out the valve again on pretty than calling the administration agency to report the water problem and letting them deal with it, You’d possibly be Responsible for the extra vital An factor of the damage.
You by no means Understand how a decide or jury will see problems till after a trial. Litigation is time-consuming and costly for all involved, so It Might be biggest to work problems out with out going to courtroom To start with.
Gary M. Singer is a Florida lawyer and board-licensed as an professional in exact property regulation by the Florida Bar. He practices exact property, enterprise litigation and contract regulation from his office in Daybreak, Fla. He is the chairman of The exact Estate Section of the Broward County Bar Association and is a co-host of the weekly radio current “Legal Information and Consider.” He frequently consults on widespread exact property problems and tendencies in Florida with numerous corporations throughout the nation. Ship him questions on-line at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or Adjust to him on Twitter @GarySingerLaw.