Where do I go from here?

The adjoining townhouse next to ours has been vacant for a year. It was just confirmed that they have significant water damage and mold in their basement. The water started coming in to our basement thru the connecting walls last week. We have had a musty smell and have dealt with frequent health issues over the last few months. I have 5 young kids. Even though the bank is now ready to fix the house next door, I need to know that my house is safe for my family. I don’t want to be hit with damages that only become apparent in the future (sump pump, mold that we don’t see now, health, etc)

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Personal Injury, Maryland

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you have a musty smell and water coming in, you should let the owner (or bank, if it is a foreclosure) know that you intend to make a claim for any damages. Let them know about the smell, the water and the health issues you have dealt with.  Tell your own homeowner's insurance, too.  They can send an adjuster to take a look and see what damage is there and what can be done about it.  If there is leakage into your house, your insurance can take care of your damages and subrogate against (make a legal demand for reimbursement from) the insurer for the house next door.  If that leakage is causing the health issues, that's a more difficult thing to prove and you would need an attorney to assist you with that.  If the health issues are relatively minor, an attorney will probably not want to take the case.  (not enough money in it)  If they are ongoing and significant, talk to a personal injury lawyer to determine if it is worth making an injury claim and/or suing.


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