Can the tenants in the condo unit below me bring a lawsuit against me for a water damage claiming that has been denied by my insurance company?

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Can the tenants in the condo unit below me bring a lawsuit against me for a water damage claiming that has been denied by my insurance company?

Water leaked from the bathroom pipes under the floor causing a significant amount of water damage to the condo unit below me. I placed a claim with my insurance company and they have said that I’m not liable. The tenants below me are demanding that I repair the damage or they’ll sue. I want to know if the insurance company is correct that I’m not liable even though the water came from my pipes. If I’m not liable, then who is and who’s responsible for the repairs?

Asked on July 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to look at your condo documents here. If the pipes are in the wall or under the floor and serve more than one of the units then they are most likely commonly owned and then you should have also put in a claim with the condo's policy.  Now, your insurance company may deny in the first instance to avoid the claim.  Did they come out and inspect?  Did they give a reason?  If you are sued then you will need to bring an action against the condos policy and your policy to declare which coverage covers the loss.  It is called a Declaratory Judgement action.  Good luck.


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