What is my recourse if the upstairs owner is not performing repairs?

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What is my recourse if the upstairs owner is not performing repairs?

I own/live in a condo. The upstairs unit has on 3 occasions leaked water from a drainage issue onto my garage ceiling. We filed insurance claims twice and they were unable to win, due to

Asked on July 8, 2018 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Whether you can win depends on the evidence you have. They are only liable--or have to pay for damage or repair costs--if they were at fault in some way; typically, by negligence, or unreasonable carelessness, such as in not repairing a known leak and allowing it to continue to cause damage. Since you would be suing her (you are the "plaintiff"): that is, the burden of proof is on you and you must prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" (or that it is more likely than not) that she was aware of a damage-causing leak AND had sufficient time/opportunity to repair it. If you can show those two things you can show her fault or negligence; if you can also show a causal connection--e.g. that it was her failure to repair that caused your loss or damage--you can win your case and recover any amounts or losses you incurred not already paid by insurancer. The key is, *you* must prove your case with evidence--she does not have to disapprove fault. If you fail to prove her fault, you will not win.


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