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Old 10-12-2015, 04:33 PM
 
17 posts, read 10,548 times
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In July, water began to come down from my bathroom ceiling. Upon the super's investigation, it was found that there was a crack under my upstairs neighbor's bathtub. The super put duct tape around the crack as a temporary fix and told me that the neighbor was getting a quote from a plumber.

Flash forward almost 3 months, it's leaking again and creating water damage as apparently the neighbor did nothing. The co-op management office says that it will send someone to do fix it by tomorrow. However, as far as the water damage in my bathroom ceiling goes, the management office says that my neighbor is responsible and I need to work it out with her. The management office won't get involved.

I will go up and talk to my neighbor. However, being a new homeowner and having never encountered this situation, I am unclear what the proper procedure is in regards to my neighbor paying for repairs and how the insurance companies (mine and hers) get involved.

Should I ask her to file a claim with her insurance company? Or should I file one with mine? Who should pay the contractor to repair the ceiling? (I.e., do I pay first and get the money back from my neighbor/her insurance, or should she gimme a check upfront to pay for repairs)

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:53 PM
 
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Typically pipes not exposed are not the coop owners responsibility.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:01 PM
 
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Maybe this article will help. It's old (2002) but should still apply.

Repairing Water Damage in a Co-op - NYTimes.com

Repairing Water Damage in a Co-op
Published: May 26, 2002

Q Several months ago, I repaired significant water damage to my co-op apartment's bathroom ceiling. The leakage apparently came from outside my unit. When evidence of continued leaking appeared, I asked the managing agent to investigate and to require the responsible party to make the necessary repairs. The agent refused, saying that I must deal directly with my upstairs neighbors. Since I have neither the authority nor the expertise to determine who in the six stories above me is responsible for the leak, this approach is destined to fail. Who is responsible for finding out who is responsible and for assuring that a repair is made? . . . Douglas L. Beards, Hartsdale, N.Y.

A Kenneth R. Jacobs, a co-op lawyer with offices in Yonkers and Manhattan, said that under most proprietary leases, the co-op corporation has the right to enter tenants' apartments to conduct inspections and make repairs. And while there is generally no specific clause in the lease requiring the co-op to investigate the sources of problems, there is usually a practical incentive for doing so.

''If the corporation refuses to investigate the cause of the leak or to repair damage, it has potential liability to the letter writer for breach of its obligation to keep the premises in good repair,'' Mr. Jacobs said.

He said that if the leak is being caused by the acts of another tenant -- such as failing to properly caulk around a bathtub -- the other tenant would be responsible for the damage to the letter writer's property.

But if the leak is caused by the failure of a system or structural element owned by the co-op, such as a pipe leaking inside the wall or a leak originating on the roof, then the co-op would be responsible for repairing damage to the plaster or wallboard in the letter writer's apartment.

Mr. Jacobs added that while the co-op would not be legally required to repaint the damaged area after it has been repaired, most boards will do so if the damage was caused by the co-op.

The letter writer, he said, should send a certified letter to the board describing the problem and requesting an inspection to determine the source of the leak. If the board declines to cooperate, Mr. Jacobs said, the letter writer can sue the co-op for failure to keep the premises in good repair and, if the damage is severe enough, can seek an abatement in maintenance charges based on the co-op's breach of the warranty of habitability.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Beautiful Pelham Parkway,The Bronx
8,389 posts, read 19,623,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
Typically pipes not exposed are not the coop owners responsibility.
Exactly. I was going to say that in such a situation in my co op the leak and the damage would probably be repaired by the co op. I was a bit confused however by the description of "a crack under my upstairs neighbors bathtub."
It raises a number of questions such as is the crack in a drain pipe or the tub ? Also, how could it have been determined that there is a crack "under" a bathtub and how could it be "taped" without taking down the ceiling ?
Something seems off in the description of the problem and that could make a difference in who is responsible.All seems a little vague to me.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:15 PM
 
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I am simply quoting the super. I was never up in the apt myself. The coop management (third party management company hired by the co-op) contact told me that it's my neighbor's responsibility and to pursue matters.

The co-op board's position is that anything contained inside the apartment is the individual apt owner's responsibility. Therefore the contact says the damage done to my ceiling is the neighbor's responsibility, especially as the tub upstairs apparently was a recent renovation project.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:43 PM
 
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I don't want to formally weigh in on this, as I'm no expert. But the co-op is responsible for problems hidden within the walls. It strikes me that if the leak is from UNDER the bathtub, that would be within the walls. (How did the super reach under the bathtub to put duct tape on the leak?)

I will only say that this sounds potentially very complex, and it's disturbing that your neighbor didn't follow through. I strongly advise you to:
1. try and do everything in writing - e.g. maybe start with writing your neighbor a nice inquiry.
2. keep meticulous notes about what is said, what is promised, what is done.
3. try to find a more expert advisor, maybe even a co-op lawyer.

And please keep us posted.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn New York
15,228 posts, read 23,749,578 times
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IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CO-OP, NOT THE INDIVIDUAL TENANT.
I live in a co-op.

the tub cracked?
how does that happen anyway?

but anything in the walls, and including the walls is the responsibility of the co-op.


hold back the maintenance payments until it is fixed, thats what i would do.
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Old 10-15-2015, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
20,134 posts, read 26,416,255 times
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Quote:
The super put duct tape around the crack as a temporary fix and told me that the
neighbor was getting a quote from a plumber.
And for this kind of genius he has the nerve to collect a salary?
Quote:

Typically pipes not exposed are not the coop owners responsibility
A cracked tub is not a pipe

To OP...call your insurance company and make a claim for ceiling repair.
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:03 AM
 
9,952 posts, read 8,441,593 times
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File a claim with your insurance. They'll go after the building and the upstairs homeowner to fix the problem, and can likely get better traction than you can alone.

I would also consider a small claims action against both the coop and the upstairs owner.
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Old 10-16-2015, 02:51 AM
 
64,551 posts, read 66,100,109 times
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odds are unless proven negligent what ends up happening is the building fixes their structural issues and each apartment is reasponsible for any damages that are personal in nature on their own .

we went through this with my son when a water pipe attaching his sink rotted and wiped out 2 apartments below .


of course they tried to sue but judge said , nope , no negligence no case . if you had no insurance you had to pay for your own personal effect damages on your own . building was only responsible for fixing ceilings , walls and flooring . anything else you were on you own including sinks and cabinets .
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