Flooded upstairs neighbors

Did you notice a stain on the ceil­ing and, get­ting cold­er, real­ized that you were being drowned? We dis­cuss with an expe­ri­enced lawyer where to run if you are flood­ed by neigh­bors from above
Flooded upstairs neighbors
The upstairs neigh­bors flood­ed. Pho­to: shutterstock.com

Water drip­ping from the ceil­ing is every home­own­er’s night­mare. The stain on the ceil­ing increas­es, the water begins to flood the apart­ment, dam­ag­ing the wall­pa­per, fur­ni­ture and appli­ances. Every­one who has ever expe­ri­enced flood­ing under­stands that neigh­bors may not be at home, there is a risk that they will refuse to pay com­pen­sa­tion, and besides, they may sim­ply not have the mon­ey for this … Yes, and repair is an unpleas­ant busi­ness! So, let’s fig­ure out how to min­i­mize the effects of flood­ing.

What to do if neighbors flood

It is clear that at the first moment a per­son begins to pan­ic: “Oh hor­ror, the neigh­bors from above flood­ed, what should I do ?!”. But then it retreats and the time comes for calm, bal­anced actions.

First of all, you need to con­tact the man­age­ment com­pa­ny and invite the neigh­bors — in their pres­ence you must draw up an act of flood­ing, — says Andrey Kat­sai­li­di, Man­ag­ing Part­ner, Kat­sai­li­di & Part­ners Law Office. — You can write by hand: the act should con­tain infor­ma­tion about the place and date of the inci­dent, as well as a detailed descrip­tion of the dam­age. For exam­ple, the wall­pa­per in the liv­ing room peeled off, the stove was flood­ed, the floor in the cor­ri­dor was swollen, and so on.



An impor­tant point: it is bet­ter to describe how the neigh­bors from above flood­ed you as accu­rate­ly as pos­si­ble. Then write down every­one present with an indi­ca­tion of who they are. For exam­ple, Ivan Ivanov is a neigh­bor. Petr Petrov is a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Hous­ing Office. All of them must sign. Then lat­er the neigh­bors will not be able to say that you your­self flood­ed your TV after the flood!

First steps

If pos­si­ble, try to resolve the con­flict peace­ful­ly. Dis­man­tling in court will have to spend time, mon­ey, and nerves. So, if there is a chance to “bar­gain” — feel free to use it.

“Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this does not always work out,” Kat­sai­li­di sighs. — Often the own­er of a flood­ed apart­ment says that, for exam­ple, his TV was flood­ed, and the neigh­bor is indig­nant, they say, he hasn’t been work­ing for you for 10 years! In this case, to assess the dam­age, it is bet­ter to con­tact an expert — an appraisal com­pa­ny.

Where to contact and call to recover damages

It all depends on who is to blame for the fact that you were flood­ed. These can be neigh­bors who for­got to turn off the tap, the man­age­ment com­pa­ny (HOA, TSN or some­one else respon­si­ble for main­tain­ing your house), or devel­op­ers who made a mis­take while build­ing the house. If you were flood­ed by neigh­bors from above, where to go is one of the most impor­tant issues.


What to do if the neigh­bors are noisy day and night

Step-by-step instruction

  1. Make an act.
  2. Assess the dam­age your­self or call an expert.
  3. Make a pre-tri­al claim and give it to the one who flood­ed you (do it under a sig­na­ture so that lat­er the cul­prit can­not make sur­prised eyes, they say, I hear it for the first time).
  4. Try to come to a con­sen­sus and peace­ful­ly resolve the issue. If it fails, go to the next para­graph.
  5. Make a claim and file it in court — so you can achieve repay­ment of all loss­es. Do not for­get to get a writ of exe­cu­tion — you will need to sub­mit it to the bailiff ser­vice, to work for the defen­dant or to the defen­dan­t’s bank, if you know where it is ser­viced.

Popular questions and answers

How to assess flood damage?

Con­tact an appraisal com­pa­ny — the Inter­net is full of them, so just look for the most prof­itable one. Experts will help you objec­tive­ly assess the dam­age.

How to determine who is to blame?

In any case, pay­ments to the vic­tim of the flood will be car­ried out by the own­er of the apart­ment. But after the pay­ments are made, he will be able to demand to reim­burse this mon­ey from the real cul­prit. And the cul­prits, by the way, are very dif­fer­ent: hous­ing can be flood­ed due to a leaky roof, bad pipes, and a dozen oth­er fac­tors. If the ten­ant from above is sure that he is not to blame, he should def­i­nite­ly fig­ure it out, con­duct a tech­ni­cal exam­i­na­tion and demand com­pen­sa­tion.

What if the neighbors do not want to pay for repairs?

If it was not pos­si­ble to agree peace­ful­ly, and the neigh­bors stub­born­ly refuse to give you the mon­ey due, there is only one way out — to go to court, and then with a writ of exe­cu­tion go to the bailiffs, to work or to the bank to the offend­er. So he will not get away!

What to do if the neighbors flood every month?

If the neigh­bors heat every month, alas, you can influ­ence them only with a ruble, — Kat­sai­li­di sighs. — Be patient and per­sis­tent­ly go to court every time drops appear on the ceil­ing. As a result, they will either learn how to turn the tap on before leav­ing the house, or find those respon­si­ble for leak­ing pipes or roofs, depend­ing on the cause of the flood.

What to do if there are no neighbors at home, and water comes from the ceiling?

Feel free to call the man­age­ment com­pa­ny. It is unlike­ly that they will pen­e­trate the apart­ment of the cul­prit of the flood, rather they will sim­ply block the entire ris­er. But in order to draw up an act, you still have to wait for the neigh­bors — first­ly, they are need­ed as wit­ness­es, and sec­ond­ly, you will need to get into their apart­ment to make sure that the flood start­ed exact­ly they have. What if they are not real­ly to blame and they were also flood­ed by a neigh­bor from above?

What to do if a neighbor refuses to participate in the drawing up of an act on the inspection of an apartment?

Some­times peo­ple who for­get to turn off the tap think that if they do not sign the act of inspect­ing the flood­ed apart­ment, then lat­er it will be more dif­fi­cult to prove their involve­ment. But it’s not. Describe in detail all the con­se­quences of flood­ing and come to a neigh­bor with two wit­ness­es. If he refus­es to open the door or sign the paper, ask wit­ness­es to con­firm this refusal in writ­ing. It will come in handy in court.

What should I do if my neighbor thinks I faked the flood?

It hap­pens that the vic­tim assures the neigh­bor from above, they say, look, the wall­pa­per has peeled off because of you! And he shakes his head: you won’t fool me, you your­self splashed water on them in order to make repairs at my expense. In a sit­u­a­tion of mutu­al dis­trust, there is only one way out: invit­ing an inde­pen­dent expert who will assess what hap­pened to the prop­er­ty after the bay and name its real aver­age mar­ket val­ue. Then he will give an opin­ion on which the par­ties will be able to set­tle among them­selves. If, how­ev­er, it is not pos­si­ble to reach a con­sen­sus here, it will be pos­si­ble to go to court with this con­clu­sion.