responsible for damage caused by contractor?

I recently received a letter in the mail from my condo HOA attorney threatening immediate legal action if i don’t pay for damages caused by a flooring contractor I hired back in february 2017. The damages were done by the contractor’s driver while operating a company vehicle to a common area of the building.

Up until the day I received this letter I was under the impression that the contractor was responsible for the damage and the HOA would file a claim with their insurance company and/or go after the contractor in small claims court or other legal avenue in order to recover damages.

The letter came as a total surprise at no point was i informed that the HOA would take legal action against me for this damage caused by someone else.

The damage caused was approximately 4,600 I originally had to submit a deposit of 1,000, which they have kept now they claim i owe the balance amount of 3,600. The condo is located in broward county.

Asked on December 19, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are not responsible for a contractor's damage unless one of the following is the case:
1) You contributed to or caused the damage, such as by directing or instructing them to drive over some landscape feature which they thereby damaged--your fault in directing them to drive over the thing which they damaged can make you liable.
2) There is some contract or other legally enforceable document which requires you to pay for their damage, such as one or more of the HOA and community or condo agreements. Review those agreements to see if any obligate you to pay for this damage; ask the condo's attorney to tell you the reason or basis for asserting liability against you (e.g. to let you know which document(s) make you liable).
If you did not contribute to or cause the damage, and are not bound by some enforceable document to pay, you are not liable or required to pay.


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