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Owner above won’t fix leak

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What is the name of your state? NJ
I’ve been texting pictures of a leak in my bathroom through my ceiling since August. It’s now October. My neighbor has not fixed the leak. I had to inform him of the bilaws where he is responsible for leaks and damage to my home from any leaks. This guy constantly complains he is being blamed. It’s not a matter of blaming, I texted him, it’s his responsibility by law to fix the leak and the damage. Nothing is being done. What is my next step? Take him to court? Even if I get $10,000 that still doesn’t fix the leak. Please help.
 


adjusterjack

Senior Member
How do you KNOW where the leak is coming from? See the emphasis on the word "KNOW."

If you're neighbor won't cooperate you'll have to open your ceiling and pinpoint the cause of the leak. Your insurance may help defray some of the cost.

If your neighbor still won't cooperate, you may be able to have the leak repaired from underneath and then sue him for the actual costs.

Why do you have to do all that (you ask) when it isn't your fault? It's called mitigating your loss. It means you can't sit around pointing fingers while your home is destroyed and then expect the neighbor to pay for all of it when you could have done something to stop or minimize the damage early on.
 
How do you KNOW where the leak is coming from? See the emphasis on the word "KNOW."

If you're neighbor won't cooperate you'll have to open your ceiling and pinpoint the cause of the leak. Your insurance may help defray some of the cost.

If your neighbor still won't cooperate, you may be able to have the leak repaired from underneath and then sue him for the actual costs.

Why do you have to do all that (you ask) when it isn't your fault? It's called mitigating your loss. It means you can't sit around pointing fingers while your home is destroyed and then expect the neighbor to pay for all of it when you could have done something to stop or minimize the damage early on.
I KNOW it’s coming from their bathroom above because I can hear them using the bathroom at the time. When they stop using the bathroom the water eventually stops. It’s coming through my ceiling. None of my pipes are up there. It’s all his. The property manager, president of the board, the super, and the plumber all explained this to me and it’s been explained to the upstairs owner. An upstairs pipe burst last year which the owner paid to fix but now there is this new leak. It’s dripping, not a flood like last year.
I haven’t been “sitting around”. I’ve been texting the guy the progression of damage from the very beginning. I made sure of that for legal reasons. It’s an old moldy bathroom upstairs so I can only assume that the water is splashing through cracks, or could be a rotted gasket or loose connection behind the shower head. I’m no expert. I cannot fix their leak from my bathroom so the guy has to investigate. Hire someone. He keeps saying his contractor is coming but no one has looked at my leak yet so I don’t think the contractor ever came. Any mature person would have said “ok I’ll get someone who knows about leaks to figure this out” but he’s responding in childish ways or not responding at all.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
I KNOW it’s coming from their bathroom
Maybe so, but you don't KNOW where in the bathroom it's coming from. The sink? The sink drain? The hot water line to the sink? The cold water line to the sink? The toilet? The toilet drain? The water line? The bathtub/shower drain? Incoming lines? You see what I'm getting at? You DON'T know where the water is coming from and you won't know until you open your ceiling and find out.

I haven’t been “sitting around”. I’ve been texting the guy the progression of damage from the very beginning
How's that working out for you? Not well, I'm guessing. You still have a leak. Your ceiling is still getting damaged.

I’m no expert
Exactly. That's why you need to hire one who can open your ceiling, find the leak, and fix it if it's visible from below.

he’s responding in childish ways or not responding at all.
That's why you need to open your ceiling and find the leak.
 
Update: I just did a leak test with neighbors and now I’m totally baffled. We did all combinations of running the water, the drips came down consistently in my bathroom at one point, turned the shower off upstairs and they stopped but then turned the tub and shower on again 5 minutes later and nothing came out. But then 3 tiny drops came down when their kitchen sink was on. I’m wondering if their dishwasher or fridge has something to do with this also. Their son says sometimes the kitchen floor gets wet. I woke up to dripping after someone used the bathroom upstairs at 6am this morning. Totally lost now. If anyone has an idea please let me know! Thanks.
 
I wouk
Maybe so, but you don't KNOW where in the bathroom it's coming from. The sink? The sink drain? The hot water line to the sink? The cold water line to the sink? The toilet? The toilet drain? The water line? The bathtub/shower drain? Incoming lines? You see what I'm getting at? You DON'T know where the water is coming from and you won't know until you open your ceiling and find out.



How's that working out for you? Not well, I'm guessing. You still have a leak. Your ceiling is still getting damaged.



Exactly. That's why you need to hire one who can open your ceiling, find the leak, and fix it if it's visible from below.



That's why you need to open your ceiling and find the leak.
I would have opened the ceiling up from the beginning but he texted me “I’m not paying for that” . But now he knows the bilaws so I’ll make things happen. Thanks
 

xylene

Senior Member
You need to engage in PROVEABLE communication.

STOP TEXTING. It's nearly useless in court.

The upstairs neighbor is not cooperating

Get a contractor and a lawyer involved.
 
I didn’t know that. I would have thought written communication with texted photos is better than verbal with the owner. You know how they say “get it in writing.”
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
I didn’t know that. I would have thought written communication with texted photos is better than verbal with the owner. You know how they say “get it in writing.”
Texting is NOT "in writing". However, the photos ARE helpful.
 

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