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Re: Water damage (my property) caused by another tenant

Posted by Amanda Plyley on July 25, 2000 at 15:28:10:

In Reply to: Re: Water damage (my property) caused by another tenant posted by brenda on July 25, 2000 at 14:54:47:

We have photo documentation of the damage and also brought in the super to witness the damage. Of course, he may not be the most reliable of witnesses . . .

We have been waiting for the last month to clean our comforters and replace our matress so that we could show the owner the damage. So far we haven't replaced anything but we have put a deposit down on a new mattress. The landlord claims that he consulted a lawyer and that we would have a hard time proving his negligence. He seems ready to get embroiled in the whole battle and claim that he did all the necessary work, etc. He wasn't proactive and he waited until the situation upstairs caused real damage. I think that's negligence.

And now we're still waiting. Supposedly the washer has finally been moved from upstairs and the adjacent leaky sink has been fixed. But we still have water damage. I'm tempted to register the complaint with the DHCR now and get them to come in and inspect before the landlord documents the evidence and repairs it. If I'm going to try to prove his negligence this seems like a good next step. Any thoughts?

I really appreciate your feedback on this, it's been most helpful.

: I don't think you're totally up the creek without photos of the damages--though they would have really clinched things. 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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