iIlive in a duplex and planning on redoing the foundation. Do I need to notify my neighbor of the attached duplex? Incase of shifting in the homes.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2011

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Insurance Question from San Antonio, TX

Asked on 07/14/2011

iIlive in a duplex and planning on redoing the foundation. Do I need to notify my neighbor of the attached duplex? Incase of shifting in the homes. My dad owns the duplex I currently live in. I plan on buying this from him and asking for a loan. Before i do this, I want to repair the foundation and cracks in all the walls. The duplex is about 30 + years old. I was informed that before I do any repairs, Imust notify the owner attached to my duplex, incase there are any damages to their unit, due to shifting of the walls. Do I? Or would their Insurance or my Insurance cover any damages to their unit? What do I need to do? Thank you.

Answer given on July 30, 2011

I would presume you are getting permits for the work you plan to do on your foundation. I would think that a part of the permit process is to notify the neighbor of the work planned. You should go to your town offices and see what is required as a part of the permit process.Once the work starts, your insurance should protect you in the event of damages caused to your home or your neighbor’s as a part of the work. Insurance covers for “sudden and accidental” damage to your home. The liability portion should protect you if your neighbor should sue you for damages. If you and the neighbor have separate insurance policies, and you cause damage to his property then his insurance would most likely be responsible for damages and then they could subrogate against you or the contractor for the damages. As long as you do the work legally, you should be properly protected. However, it is recommended that you hire a contractor to do this work, since they will have a better understanding as to how to do the work with the least likelihood of damages to your property or your neighbor.

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