Who is liable for damages if my upstairs neighbor’s A/C is leaking into through her floor into my ceiling?

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Who is liable for damages if my upstairs neighbor’s A/C is leaking into through her floor into my ceiling?

I have a condo.

Asked on June 17, 2014 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The upstairs neighbor would be liable if "at fault" in anyway. Typically this requires that either the neighbor knew (such as because you told him/her) about the leak, or the leak was obvious (e.g. it's leaking first inside his/her home, where he/she would see it), and knowing of the leak (or where he/she reasonably should have known), did nothing. That failure to act in the face of knoweldge creates liability, though generally, the neighbor would only be responsible from and after the point at which he/she had (or should have had) knowledge. On the other hand, if it started leaking without any warning or the neighbor doing anything else wrong, they would not be liable or responsible for the leak or the damage it causes; in that case, you'd have to look to your insurance for compensation.


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