Can I sue the bank that owns a commercial building next to mine iftheir building is in disrepair and now damaging mine?

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Can I sue the bank that owns a commercial building next to mine iftheir building is in disrepair and now damaging mine?

Both buildings share a common wall. The very outer back wall (brick) of the bank’s building has fallen away and started damage my building. I am losing bricks and the section next to the adjoining building has started to pull away. This is also keeping me from renting my office space. I spoke with the bank and they told me becauseit was in foreclosure that they don’t carry any insurance so I was unable to file a claim. Should I speak with a real estate attorney?  I’m in Crawford County, KS.

Asked on August 12, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Kansas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the owner of the building if the condition of the abutting structure is causing damage to your structure.  Whether or not they are insured does not matter.  Although you indicate that the bank could not make an insurance claim on their policy can you make one on yours?  Try.  Because if you can then your insurance company can "subrogate" the claim against the bank.  In other words they pay you and that allows them to step in to your shoes to sue the bank for the money expended in repairs.  It saves you the time and the hassle of suing yourself.  Insurance companies have attorneys that they use on a regular basis to recoup the losses paid out.  Good luck.


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