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  1. #1
    Kafeen is offline Junior Member
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    Mar 2011
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    Neighbor using my hot water heater

    Colorado

    I am first owner of condo built 15 years ago. Had hot water heater replaced recently. Took two weeks to replace. During this time, my neighbor upstairs was without hot water only in his kitchen. Each unit has its own hot water heater. HOA pays for water, we pay for gas to heat it. Discovered that builders crossed pipes and took hot water from MY unit to his kitchen! All other water for his unit comes from his own hot water heater.

    No luck finding the original builders. Believed that they are no longer in business after 15 years. I have been paying to heat water for that kitchen for 15 years! Now being threatened by upstairs unit's real estate manager of law suit to pay half of repair charges.

    I don't remember them paying a portion of the new water heater that they've been using! I believe I have paid enough because of this mistake! THEY need to make the correction I'm their unit to obtain THEIR hot water!

    Does anyone know what the law says about issues like this?
  2. #2
    cyjeff is offline Senior Member
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    Sep 2008
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    I would tell your upstairs neighbor that you know a good plumber than can help them regain hot water to their kitchen.

    To demand that you continue allowing them to steal from you is pretty ballsy.

    Especially when you had nothing to do with the original plumbing.

    Where is the hot water for YOUR kitchen coming from?
  3. #3
    Kafeen is offline Junior Member
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    Neighbor using my hot water heater

    I did tell their property manager something similar. The actual owners of the unit above me had been friends when they lived here. When the problem originally showed up, and they thought my plumber had done something that had shut their hot water off in the kitchen, the owner herself called me to ask about it. Once it became apparent that they were tapped into my unit they began screening my calls. A few days later, their property mgr called.

    They are not asking to continue using my water heater. They just want me to share I'm the cost of correcting the plumbing problem so they get their hot water for their kitchen from THEIR hot water heater.

    It probably should be the Builders responsibility. But we cannot locate their name and believe they are probably not in business anymore anyway.

    I know its not the fault of the owners upstairs either. But I feel I have spent enough money because of this problem by paying 15 years of heating the kitchen water for that unit (thru several owners). And purchasing a new hot water heater that they did not share in the cost of (nor do I think they should! Just being facicious!)

    My hot water for my kitchen comes from MY hot water heater as well.
  4. #4
    TinkerBelleLuvr is offline Senior Member
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    I don't understand why that unit's owner thinks that you should pay half to replumb for THEIR unit. YOU could technically sue all the prior tenants for a portion of the costs of the hot water, but chances are it would cost more to do that with an attorney than to just eat the cost.

    You don't owe anything for THEIR plumbing problem.
  5. #5
    cyjeff is offline Senior Member
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    Agreed.

    I think the property manager is playing the "let's ask and see what they say" game.

    After all, the worst you can say is no.

    Tell them that you are not going to pay for their plumbing. If they believe that to be in error, have their attorney notify you or your attorney of the court date.

    End of story.
  6. #6
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Jun 2004
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    I wouldn't be so nice. I would let them know that as soon as I finish adding up all the free hot water they got over the last XX years, I will be sending them a bill, and after they pay that, we can discuss why they think you're in any way responsible for fixing their pipes.

    In the interim, I'd turn off MY hot water heater whenever I wasn't using it
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  7. #7
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Apr 2002
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    I agree with Y A G find the cold water inlet valve on your tank and turn it OFF, this is not a LL T situation , Your not obligated to allow any more hot water you pay for to go to that unit nor do you have to share in the cost of the repair. If your not willing to do some exploration work of your own I would suggest asking your plumber if he has a fishable camera ( it has a goose neck like desk lamps did years ago with display screen at one end and camera on other ) to take a look into the wall to learn if its possible with only removing a small area of dry wall to cut the line off , cap each side . See even if you shut off the valve the other units owner might not be in any hurry to fix it. And at the worst the plumber who did this job may have only ran one hot line and didnt want to go back and run another from the other units heater to its K sink and figured they werent gonna get caught, so the other neighbor might not even have a hot water line to connect to , wich is still not your problem. ( but having it cut off on from your unit means you know for fact its done with)

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