Can I sue my upstairs condo neighbor for damages from her leak?

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Can I sue my upstairs condo neighbor for damages from her leak?

My upstairs neighbors bathroom pipe leaked on my ceiling. She was informed of the issue almost 2 1/2 months ago. She was told it was leaking and causing mold. The mold grew and grew because of her negligence and reluctance to fix the problem. My children have asthma and I informed her that she needed to fix it quickly because they were getting sick and we have no access to our restroom. She brought a plumber at the end of June and it was so bad that he said he couldn’t work until emergency water came. They came and put fans and said they would be back in three days to continue with mold removal. She did not agree with the plumber because he said that he would need to remove her tub to do the work. She used the tub again because it was still leaking after they removed my ceiling. I had to get my HOA involved so that she would fix it quickly because the situation was making us sick. The HOA plumber said the same thing as the previous plumber. However, my ceiling is still not fixed, her pipes have not been fixed and now I was told not to sleep in the connecting bedroom because of health issues. It has been 3 months and no one seems to be able to tell her to fix it. Meanwhile I have damages that she has not even addressed or attempted to make amends for. I am the owner of the condo and she owns hers as well. I have involved my insurance but we are at a standstill because we cannot move forward until she fixes the leak. This has caused a lot of strain and stress and I am looking for a way to conclude this conflict.

Asked on July 11, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue her. When someone neglignently, or unreasonably carelessly, damages your property or harms you personally, she is liable for your costs, losses, damage, and injury. You describe a situation in which, despite having notice or warning of the situation, your neighbor delayed unreadonably long in addressing it: an unreasonable delay in addressing a *known* situation damaging or injuring another is negligent, and can make her liable. If the amount you are seeking is less than the maximum limit for small claims court, suing in small claims, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") is a good idea, to save legal fees; if you are seeking more (especially significantly more) than the small claims limit, you may wish to hire a lawyer.


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