Q: A few weeks ago I was changing the water heater in another apartment in our condo. The management company has placed a sign in only one section informing them that the water will be blocked. I ran out of water in the unit, so I went outside and checked. Seeing no one around, I noticed that the main water valve was closed. When I opened the valve, an overflow occurred during operation, and it seems that the unit when replacing the heater was damaged. Who is responsible for the damage? — Jerry
A: I have two questions. The person responsible for the damage and the person responsible for the damage.
There are many responsibilities around you. The management company should have properly notified the residents that they were trying to stop the water. The contractor had to physically tag the valve to prevent someone from accidentally turning it on. And you shouldn’t have ruined the valve.
Condominium residents do not have the authority to modify or work on common elements of the community. This is the role of the association.
Responsibility is different from responsibility. Responsibility decisions vary from state to state. In Florida, we follow the “Principle of Comparative Negligence,” but in some other states, each negligent party is equally and fully liable for the damage they cause.
Comparative negligence means that the court divides the damage to each responsible party in proportion to the rate of negligence.
For example, in your case, the management company and contractor may bear a small portion of the cost, as they have only slightly accused them of not giving enough notice about their work.
Instead of calling the management company to report and handle the water problem, I decided to turn the valve back on myself, so I may be responsible for the more serious part of the damage.
We don’t know how judges and juries will see things until the end of the trial. Proceedings can be time consuming and costly for everyone involved, so it’s best to resolve the issue without going to court from the beginning.
Residents of the Condominium Management Companies turned on the water valve without asking why it stopped, causing a flood in another apartment. Things may not go well for him in the proceedings.
Gary M. Singer is a Florida lawyer and board certified by Florida Bar as a real estate law expert. He practices real estate, business proceedings and contract law at his office in Sunrise, Florida. He is chair of the real estate division of the Broward County Bar Association and co-sponsor of the weekly radio show Legal News and Review. He frequently consults with various companies across the country on common Florida real estate issues and trends. Send him a question online at www.sunsentinel.com/askpro or follow him on Twitter @ GarySingerLaw.
Many people are responsible, but who has to pay for the flood?
Source link Many people are responsible, but who has to pay for the flood?