If my water heater leaked and caused some damage to the unit downstairs but we replaced it immediately, are we liable to pay for the damages in the unit downstairs?

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If my water heater leaked and caused some damage to the unit downstairs but we replaced it immediately, are we liable to pay for the damages in the unit downstairs?

There was no negligence on our part.

Asked on June 22, 2015 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If there was no negligence, then you would not be liable--that's why your downstairs neighbor should have insurance, to protect them when there is damage done but there had been no negligence of fault by anyone else. Bear in mind that water heaters should be replaced every 7 - 10 years, and if they are allowed to get too old, they will leak--that happened to me. A failure to timely replace an old heater could be negligence.


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