What is my liability if my condominium was severely flooded because of the neighbor’s sink backing up?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What is my liability if my condominium was severely flooded because of the neighbor’s sink backing up?

Since my tenant was out of town the damage went unnoticed for several weeks. The insurance company has denied my claim because of neglect. is there anything that I can do? The condo is now unlivable yet I still have maintenance fees to pay?

Asked on January 11, 2016 under Insurance Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the neighbor whose sink backed up, for having negligently (or carelessly) causing damage to your property. (You would sue for the cost to dry out, clean up, repair, etc.) If you can show that the neighbor was at fault, such as by not proactively dealing with smaller back ups until they became a huge problem, or carelessly leaving the water running without checking in it, you could recover money.
Unless your behavior clearly violated the terms of your insurance policy, you could sue the insurer for breach of contract (for not paying you when, under the terms of your policy, they should have) and see if the court will agree with you that your insurer should pay.

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