If my condo’s garage door closed onto the roof of my vehicle as I was driving under it, amI required to pay for damage done to the door?

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If my condo’s garage door closed onto the roof of my vehicle as I was driving under it, amI required to pay for damage done to the door?

Even after the garage door had wedged the car underneath it, it just kept going and burneditself out. So there was no safety button or anything to make it go back up. This happened 9 months ago but I just received a letter from the property management company saying I am responsible for the cost of the garage labor and the new garage door (approx. $1700) and have to pay it by within the next month or it goes to collection.

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Typically, you are only responsible for  damage to another's property if--

1) You caused the damage either intentionally or negligently (unreasonably carelessly)--e.g. you tried to drive under the door while it was closing, instead of waiting for it to close and reopen.

2) You agreed to indemnify or pay for this sort of loss--e.g. in the condo, HOA, etc. agreement(s) it indicates that you'd be responsible for damage to condo property you cause, regardless of whether you were at fault (i.e did it intentionally or negligently) or not.

Without 1) or 2), from what you write, they would seem to not have a basis to hold you liable.


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