What are acondo owner’s rights to reimbursement for costs associated with a move due to a fire in another owner’s condo?

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2011

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What are acondo owner’s rights to reimbursement for costs associated with a move due to a fire in another owner’s condo?

We have been out of our condo for 30 days now due to water damage caused by a fire from an upstairs unit. The insurance company of the other unit’s owner is giving us the run-around. We have a 7th month old daughter and don’t want to rack up bills, so we did not file a claim because it was not our fault. We are staying with our father-in-lawbut it’s a further distance from our jobs and daycare. We feel that we deserve to be compensated for our loss of use and extra travel expenses. What are, if any, are guidlines for going about this?

Asked on January 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

If you have suffered out-of-pocket losses due to another's actions, you can sue them for your losses; you can also submit a claim to their insurer (if any), but if the insurer doesn't voluntarily pay, you'll have to sue. You should be able to claim for: extra travel expenses; storage expenses for  your belongings; any necessary repairs to your property or belongings; and possible for costs (such as taxes, mortgage, etc.) you've been paying to carry an unusuable property while it's being repaired. Of course, you probably should have submitted to your own insurer--that would have been the best and fastest way to get compensation. At this point, you may be too late to submit to your own insurance (you are usually required to give prompt notice of potential claims), which complicates your situation.

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