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Who is liable for damage to a downstairs unit caused by a hot water heater leak on the second floor?

Longwood, FL |

I own and occupy a second floor condo unit, my hot water heater started leaking and I was notified by the downstairs tenant on Friday night, I called a plumber first thing and turned off all the water, but there was no way to replace it until Monday morning. It caused $1500 worth of damage that the downstairs owner paid for. When the plumber was installing the new hot water heater he stated that the old hot water heater was installed incorrectly, the hose from the pan was never connected, and if it had been installed correctly it wouldn't have damaged the downstairs unit. Who is liable for the damage? Me or the downstairs owner(his unit is listed shortsale), neither of us have insurance. Is there recourse for the liable party against the management company for the incorrect installation?

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Attorney answers 1


Unfortunately you or your neighbor do not have insurance; this should have been a covered claim. Your hot water heater caused the damage to the downstairs unit. Therefore, you would be responsible for the damage that you caused. I do not know how long ago your water heater was installed or what role the management company played in its installation. Either way, the installer may have a statute of limitations defense.

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