What to do if a foreclosed townhome next door has mold which is coming over into my basement?

I own a townhouse and I share a common wall with my neighbor. The neighbor abandoned his house and it is under foreclosure. In winter, a pipe burst in next door and flooded the basement. As a result, water came into my basement and I noticed some mold. So, I had to fix my side of the wall; the insurance covered some of it. A few days back I noticed that moldy spots are showing up again and I suspect this is because my neighbor’s basement is still flooded and/or damp. I could fix it but it may happen again. What options do I have to get neighbor’s basement fixed?

Asked on September 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to place a claim with your insurance company and talk to the now owner of the neighbor's townhome, which would most likely be the lender. Talk to the insurance company about enlisting their help in filing a lawsuit for damages against the bank. Then, if you know the bank who foreclosed on the home, file a consumer complaint against that bank for failing to properly protect the abutters and that the bank's failure to repair the flood and mold has resulted in encroachment and trespass of those damages into your home. Who you file this consumer complaint with will depend on who regulates that bank. If the bank is regulated by the Office of the Comptroller, it will have an N.A. at the back of the name; same with it if it has f.s.a or f.s.b. You can always call the New York Banking Department and find out from that agency.


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