Can a landlord of a rental propery next to mine make me pay for damages to their rental property?

The landlord says that I broke the gas line to the rental property next to the property I own. They say I hit the meter with my trailer and cause it to need repair. I’ve asked for proof that I hit the meter. They said the meter repair people said it was leaking for 2 weeks, long before I even bought the trailer. The neighbor and I pushed the trailer to the spot it was by hand and neither of us believe we hit the meter. Anyway, the landlord of the property is saying we owe them for the repairs to the meter. Can they do that without proof we hit the meter?

Asked on September 27, 2010 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Ok, this is America and people have the right to bring lawsuits, even if they are ultimately determined to be unfounded or "unprovable" through a lack of evidence. Can the landlord bring the lawsuit?  Sure if he thinks he has a basis for one as against you.  You, however, appear to have your own "evidence" to refute the alleged claims made against you: the meter repair people (they will need to be witnesses, specifically the guy that cam and told you about the leak) and your friend who helped you move the trailer who can testify that you never hit it.  The court will weigh the evidence and then make a ruling.  But if he has no real evidence they can dismiss the case.  Attorney consultation in your area may be a good idea.  Good luck.


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