flooded my apartment

mpc2000December 4, 2006

what are the chances that I may get evicted by flooding my third floor apartment. The local water company was working on my street, fixing some pipe or whatnot, so my water was turned off. I had turned the faucet on only to forget to turn it back off. as I was waiting for the water to start coming back, I fell asleep. needless to say, my neighbors were banging on my door at midnight or 1 am and I was left in a three inches of water, most of the outlets were working fine, but my neighbors apartments(first and second floor) I honestly didn't mean for this to happen. and for those that want to know, the kitchen sink got plugged by a cup that had probably floated to the drain, where a food disposal mechanism is, and that's what caused the water to overflow on the sink and whatnot. so what do you think can happen to me? should I just be honest and tell them I forgot or ask them to check the faucet becuase it might be faulty. I don't know what to do and I'm a nervous wreck. I'm wondering how much damage I've caused, which I never meant to

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You forgot to turn off the faucet, it is your fault. I can't see any lie working, be honest and hope for the best.

Hopefully you have renters insurance.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2006 at 8:09PM
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When I hear stories like this I always wonder what the person would do if they were a homeowner. I mean, if you owned your own home and did something like this who do you think would be paying for something you did?

Sometimes homeowners do stupid things and damage their homes. They pay for the repairs. Renters seem to think that someone is going to take care of them. If someone ruined something that YOU owned I'm sure you wouldn't just let it slide.

You say it's not your fault but that is what insurance is for.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2006 at 11:30AM
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Well, it's hard to see how you can be evicted for what amounts to an oversight. Albeit one that led to catastrophic results, but still an oversight. I would think if eviction process was started, landlord would have to have evidence you did this out of malicious intent or vandalism in order for an eviction to fly.

Please don't have them call a plumber to check a 'faulty' faucet. That's only digging a deeper hole, because the plumber isn't going to find anything wrong and plumbers are not cheap. That approach is not going to smooth anything over.

Most critically important: do you have renters insurance?
If so, check your policy and make sure you've got liability coverage (the liability portion covers bodily injury or property damage that you cause to others).

If you don't have insurance, typically each person would then turn to their own (landlord to his Dwelling policy, other tenants to their Renters policies) and hope for the best.
If I were in your shoes, just like in an auto accident, don't verbally admit fault. Just call your insurance. There are so many ins and outs to insurance claims (heck, insurance company might even blame the town for not properly notifying when water was off and then service resumed, you never know.) Your insurance company will guide you from there. If you don't carry insurance, and you find others are seeking restitution from you and damages are high (or you find eviction proceedings started) it might be a good idea to talk to a lawyer.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2006 at 8:58AM
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This is not something that a landlord would be able to evict you for in court (if you were honest). Hope you came clean and were honest about it.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 11:00AM
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This was in the real estate section of our paper just recently.

Real Estate Mailbag-
Robert J. Bruss-Real Estate attorney

Tenant's story a good argument for insurance

Q. I rent an apartment in a large complex. About six months ago, I accidentally let my dinner cooking on the stove get overheated. It caused a fire that resulted in about $15,000 in damage to my apartment. Fortunately, nobody was injured. The landlord's insurance company paid to have my apartment restored. Now the insurer is suing me for the $15,000. I don't have renter's insurance. Do I have to pay?

A. It sounds like you were negligent in allowing your dinner to overheat, causing a fire, which resulted in the $15,000 in damage.

The landlord could have sued you for negligence damages. Instead, the insurer paid the $15,000 repair costs. By doing so, the insurer became subrogated to the landlord's right to sue you for damages caused by your negligence.

Your situation is a classic example of why apartment tenants always need a renter's insurance policy. If you had such insurance, your insurer would have paid this claim. Renter's insurance pays for loss because of fire, theft and other accidental losses.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2006 at 4:18PM
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