Posted by brenda on July 25, 2000 at 14:54:47:
In Reply to: Re: Water damage (my property) caused by another tenant posted by Amanda Plyley on July 25, 2000 at 10:02:14:
: What are the chances I could prove this guy was negligent without documentation? Would it be better to wait and see if he can get money from the upstairs tenant or just jump in now and sue both of them for damages?
I can understand your interest in moving out then. You are not a "wuss" for wanting to move out of a lousy building.
I don't think you're totally up the creek without photos of the damages--though they would have really clinched things. You can bring in a witness to back up your account of the water seeping through. Where the water came from is almost beside the point. Either the tenant upstairs or your landlord is responsible. That is why I suggest you sue both.
And what about proof of your costs? Paid bills, that kind of thing. You need that too. Without proof of out-of-pocket damages you will definitely lose.
Small claims is not difficult. There are evening hours, in Manhattan at least. Your case is heard by an arbitrator, not a judge, if you elect to do so--which is perfectly OK. You explain the situation in plain language. Not having a lawyer wont hurt you in small claims. The landlord may not have one either because it just isn't worth the legal fees for $650 in damages.
That's not small by Small Claims standards, by the way. People sue over $100 or less all the time.
Assuming there's no real downside, why not give it a shot? Worst you can do is lose.
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