What Can I Do If My Neighbor Is Causing Water Damage To My Property?
If there is one constant truth about living in a community with other people, it is that your actions affect your neighbors. This is true no matter where you live, whether your neighbors are in the same building (as with apartments or condos), or if you have adjacent properties.
This is especially true when it comes to water damage. There are many situations where water from a neighbor’s property could overflow and damage your property. If you’re in the same apartment building, for instance, it might be a matter of water from an upstairs neighbor’s apartment leaking into your apartment and destroying your property. If you’re in freestanding houses, it may be water draining from your neighbor’s property and flooding your property and home. In any case, water damage can be very serious. In addition to detracting from your enjoyment of your home, it can cause widespread property damage, including damage to the walls, ceilings, floors, circuitry, plumbing, and even the very structure of your home. Water damage can also cause serious health hazards like toxic mold, which can be wildly expensive to eradicate and very dangerous, as well as landscape damage that in some cases can undermine the foundations of your house.
If you have sustained water damage to your home or property, either because of a singular event or a chronic, recurring issue, you should first attempt to speak to your neighbor about what has happened. If they are indeed responsible, they may not have realized they were creating the problem and may be amenable to fixing whatever was causing the flooding, and/or paying for the property damage you have sustained. Your neighbor agreeing to pay for the damages themselves is the best-case scenario.
If they refuse to take responsibility and/or pay for the damages, as is often the case, your next step is to determine whether your insurance will cover the damages. Some forms of homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance may cover damages caused by this sort of flooding.
If coverage is not available, you may be able to legally compel your neighbor and/or their insurance company to pay for the damages they caused. Your next best bet is to contact an attorney. While it seems rash to jump straight to hiring a lawyer for this sort of dispute, issues that require you to simultaneously compel a stubborn neighbor to see the light and to convince his insurance company to issue a payout almost never get solved without attorney representation. If you want to see compensation for your losses, a knowledgeable, thorough attorney will know what to do to put the ball in motion. They will be able to navigate the complicated worlds of insurance claims and small claims, as well as local municipality bylaws.
Every flood situation is unique to the people and properties involved. However, an experienced attorney will be able to make sense of the situation and show you a clear path forward, fiercely advocating for your interests along the way. If you are in the Pensacola, Florida area, that attorney is Chris Crawford. Crawford, the principal attorney at Crawford Law, has the knowledge, experience, and passion for justice to get you the compensation you deserve. You didn’t cause the flooding on your property, and you shouldn’t have to pay to repair the damages. Don’t spend another day frustrated. Call (850) 432-7726 or visit our website for a free consultation on your case.
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