Water damagemold — townhome complex

Water damagemold - townhome complex

Thread: Water damage/mold — townhome complex

Water damage/mold — townhome complex

What is the name of your state? CA

I am in the process of selling my townhome, but have some issues that need to be resolved before I can do so.

Please note that the townhomes are not simply divided front to back, as all the units share common areas. (i.e. bathrooms/bedrooms from one unit above another unit’s garage)

February/March 2005

- I noticed water seeping through garage ceiling

- Upon inspection by plumber, it was determined that water damage was caused by the neighbor’s old water heater that had begun leaking water

- The plumber proceeded to shut off water to neighbor’s water heater, and the leaking stopped.

- I knocked on neighbor’s door several times in an effort to ask her to repair our ceiling, but no response

June 2005

- I noticed water seeping through garage ceiling, this time towards the rear bearing wall. I thought it was caused by something in our unit, so I had a plumber come out for an inspection.

- It was determined that the water leak was not caused by anything in our unit, as our bathroom was on 3rd floor. Plumber determined that water leak was coming from the neighbor’s unit as there was a toilet directly above our garage.

- I proceeded to knock on the neighbor’s door everyday for the next week, hoping to have her fix the problem as soon as possible. (Note: We still had not seen the neighbor since February/March)

- After no answers, I left a note on the neighbor’s door, and sent the same note to the HOA for their records.

- Susan, acting as neighbor’s real estate agent, contacted me when she received the letter addressing the issue. The neighbor does not speak English, so Susan asked that I run everything through her. I explained the two water leaks, and asked that she inform the neighbor that she was responsible for any costs incurred with repairing the garage.

Water damagemold - townhome complex

- The neighbor finally returned from a trip to Korea on July 31, 2005. I took the neighbor and her agent through my garage and showed them the water damage. We also went into her unit, to confirm that she does indeed have a bathroom(water source) directly above our garage.

August 2005

- August 8, 2005 – James, the contractor hired by the neighbor, fixed the water leak in the neighbor’s bathroom, replaced the neighbor’s water heater, and said that he would be coming by to repaint our garage.

- After contacting another contractor for a different opinion, I was advised that I should not simply have the surfaces repainted, especially the bearing wall where an unknown amount of water collecting could have developed mold. Not knowing if the neighbor was trying to take the easy way out, I had a mold inspection done, which confirmed that mold had already begun developing.

- I then requested that the neighbor pay for any costs involved with a mold remediation and restoration, in addition to painting the garage ceiling to fix the water stains left from her water heater leak.

In September, I retained a lawyer, who drafted a demand letter. We received a response last week from Susan’s lawyer, that stated she could not be held liable for the damages, as they were sustained under the previous neighbor’s ownership. It turns out Susan had purchased the unit from the neighbor via a private sale August 22, 2005. The previous neighbor has now moved to Korea, seemingly leaving me with no option to recoup costs that I will incur repairing everything myself. Susan had been stringing me along for 2 months, saying she was talking to the previous neighbor, trying to get her to pay for the damages. Common sense tells me that as she is out of the country, she will not pay up.

My questions are: Can this RE agent be held liable, and can I pursue Susan for the costs? I do not know anything about RE law, and would appreciate any insight into this matter. TIA

Last edited by dhn113; 11-07-2005 at 04:06 PM. Reason: added content

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