Flooded the neighbors from below

It can hap­pen to any­one: at the most unex­pect­ed moment, the phone rings and angry neigh­bors report that you are drown­ing them. We fig­ure out how to avoid huge com­pen­sa­tion for dam­ages and not com­plete­ly spoil rela­tions with oth­er ten­ants
Flooded the neighbors from below
Flood­ed the neigh­bors down­stairs. Pho­to: shutterstock.com

Do you con­sid­er your­self an atten­tive per­son and think that you will nev­er flood your neigh­bors due to your over­sight? You are great­ly mis­tak­en. Even if you reg­u­lar­ly check the con­di­tion of the pipes in the apart­ment, han­dle the equip­ment care­ful­ly and close the stop­cocks before leav­ing, a leak can still hap­pen. The rea­son for the flood­ing of neigh­bors from below can be a break­down in the com­mon house water sup­ply sys­tem, a mal­func­tion of the pur­chased mix­er, and oth­er inci­dents. And at the moment when you are try­ing to save your own home, neigh­bors appear, demand­ing to pay for the restora­tion of repairs and fur­ni­ture. So let’s fig­ure out how to min­i­mize the con­se­quences of flood­ing and how to assess the dam­age.

What to do if neighbors are flooded from below

We must say right away that such trou­bles in apart­ment build­ings are not uncom­mon. This, of course, does not make it eas­i­er, but if you know how to behave in such a sit­u­a­tion, act calm­ly and bal­anced, then you can get out of the sit­u­a­tion with min­i­mal dam­age to your nerves and wal­let.

Nep­tun Water Leak Pro­tec­tion Sys­tems

Neptune Smart
Nep­tune Smart
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Neptun Profi Smart
Nep­tun Profi Smart+
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Neptun Bugatti Smart
Nep­tun Bugat­ti Smart
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Hence the con­clu­sion: even if you flood­ed the neigh­bors from below, remain calm and rea­son sen­si­bly. Do not suc­cumb to provo­ca­tions, do not con­flict, be sure to apol­o­gize and try to estab­lish con­tact.

Ready-made kits are avail­able from the Russ­ian man­u­fac­tur­er Nep­tune. The box con­tains a ball valve with an elec­tric dri­ve, a con­trol mod­ule and sen­sors. If a leak is detect­ed in the sys­tem, the automa­tion blocks the water sup­ply in approx­i­mate­ly 20 sec­onds. After repair, just press the but­ton on the case and nor­mal water sup­ply will be restored. There are solu­tions for apart­ments with a geyser.

First steps

Usu­al­ly peo­ple receive news about the bay of neigh­bors from below, being either at work or on vaca­tion. Quite often, floods hap­pen at night, because many peo­ple pre­fer to run wash­ing machines and dish­wash­ers at night. In any case, you need to elim­i­nate the cause of the leak as soon as pos­si­ble, call the emer­gency ser­vice. Neigh­bors do not always exchange phone num­bers, and the res­i­dents of the “guilty” apart­ment learn about the leak only when they return home, when dis­grun­tled neigh­bors are wait­ing for them at the doorstep. As a rule, by this time the plumber has already blocked the ris­er, so the per­pe­tra­tors of the flood have to remove the water from the floor as soon as pos­si­ble and start nego­ti­a­tions with the neigh­bors.

The box con­tains a ball valve with an elec­tric dri­ve, a con­trol mod­ule and sen­sors. If a leak is detect­ed in the sys­tem, the automa­tion blocks the water sup­ply in approx­i­mate­ly 20 sec­onds. After repair, just press the but­ton on the case and nor­mal water sup­ply will be restored. There are solu­tions for apart­ments with a geyser.

Water leak­age pro­tec­tion sys­tems

The best way to save nerves, mon­ey and rela­tion­ships with neigh­bors

Step-by-step instruction

Here is the most com­pe­tent course of action if you flood­ed the neigh­bors from below:

1. On your own, try to stop the water or at least reduce its flow (shut off the ris­er, wipe the floor). Turn off all elec­tri­cal appli­ances or turn off the elec­tric­i­ty in the apart­ment on the pan­el.

2. Call a plumber who can deter­mine exact­ly who is to blame for this sit­u­a­tion. If the leak occurred before the shut­off valves of your apart­ment, that is, in the com­mon ris­er, then the man­age­ment com­pa­ny is to blame, and if the dam­age to the water sup­ply occurred behind the tap that lim­its the water sup­ply to the apart­ment, then you are to blame. And it doesn’t mat­ter if your pipe burst, if the mix­er “flew”, or if the wash­ing machine or dish­wash­er leaked.

3. Call or go down to the neigh­bors below (if they have not yet come to you them­selves). If they are not at home, call the man­age­ment com­pa­ny. Let her turn off the water in the entire ris­er.

4. Fix flood­ing. Take pic­tures of all the con­se­quences of flood­ing in the neigh­bors’ apart­ment. Then it will help to accu­rate­ly deter­mine the dam­age caused to them.

5. Call an employ­ee of the man­age­ment com­pa­ny who will draw up an act on the flood­ing of the premis­es, as well as assess the dam­age caused.

6. Try to set­tle every­thing peace­ful­ly. If you have a good rela­tion­ship with your neigh­bors, then you will most like­ly be able to nego­ti­ate a refund amount that suits both you and them.

6. If the neigh­bors do not want to talk to you or have asked for too much, then solve the prob­lem in court. To do this, you need to invite an inde­pen­dent expert to assess the dam­age.

7. Elim­i­nate such prob­lems in the future — install pro­tec­tion against leaks. Spe­cial water sen­sors will bring a dou­ble ben­e­fit: they will pro­tect your apart­ment from leaks, and pro­tect your neigh­bors from flood­ing. Such sen­sors are installed in places where leaks are most like­ly to occur: under the wash­ing machine, on the floor behind the toi­let, under the bath­tub and sink. For safe­ty, you can install a sen­sor in the hall­way next to the bath­room. As soon as the sen­sor is trig­gered, the sys­tem auto­mat­i­cal­ly shuts off the water — shut-off valves are installed at the water inlet to the apart­ment.

How to assess and repair damage

To assess the dam­age, you can con­tact the man­age­ment com­pa­ny to send a spe­cial com­mis­sion to the acci­dent site. Experts will record the dam­age and deter­mine the cul­prit of the inci­dent. You can call an inde­pen­dent apprais­er, the main thing is that he has a license to con­duct an appraisal exam­i­na­tion. An impor­tant point: if the neigh­bors below called an apprais­er, drew up a doc­u­ment on the dam­age caused, but you were not invit­ed to this pro­ce­dure, you can not sign this act or draw up a state­ment of dis­agree­ment and sub­mit it to the man­age­ment com­pa­ny.

Anti-leak sys­tems Nep­tun
Leak pro­tec­tion sys­tems con­sist of ball valves with elec­tric actu­a­tors. In case of leaks, the sen­sors trans­mit a sig­nal to the con­trol mod­ule, and the ball valves imme­di­ate­ly block the water sup­ply
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The choice of pro­fes­sion­als

It is not nec­es­sary to delay the assess­ment, but it is also not worth it to con­duct it imme­di­ate­ly after flood­ing. The con­se­quences of the flood are ful­ly man­i­fest­ed only after a few days, so the opti­mal time for the exam­i­na­tion is a week after the bay.

This is useful to know

Smart leak pro­tec­tion sys­tems are rapid­ly gain­ing mar­ket share. Clas­sic kits are capa­ble of per­form­ing only a basic set of func­tions — auto­mat­ic block­ing and restora­tion of water sup­ply. Series devices Nep­tune Smart con­nect­ed to a smart home, read read­ings and con­trolled via a smart­phone. On them, the user can remote­ly con­trol the sup­ply or block­ing of water in two clicks. A noti­fi­ca­tion about an acci­dent comes to the smart­phone, and the device starts to glow and emit a sig­nal. Now there are two sets: wire­less Profi with stain­less taps and extend­ed func­tion­al­i­ty, as well as wired Bugat­ti.

Popular questions and answers

Is it possible not to pay?

Even if you flood­ed the neigh­bors from below, you can avoid pay­ing for dam­ages. To do this, you must insure your lia­bil­i­ty as the own­er of the apart­ment, and then the insur­ance com­pa­ny is oblig­ed to pay for the dam­age caused by the insured to the vic­tim. You can also try to nego­ti­ate with your neigh­bors and resolve the prob­lem peace­ful­ly, for exam­ple, to elim­i­nate the con­se­quences of the acci­dent on your own — to make repairs.

And if the apartment below is insured?

In this case, the insur­ance com­pa­ny will pay com­pen­sa­tion to the neigh­bors, and then bill you for the amount of insur­ance paid. Its amount may vary depend­ing on the terms of the con­tract. So it makes sense to agree with the neigh­bors on vol­un­tary com­pen­sa­tion for dam­age, fix­ing this with a notary. If the vic­tims are claim­ing an amount that clear­ly does not cor­re­spond to the dam­age, it is worth con­sid­er­ing how to con­duct an inde­pen­dent exam­i­na­tion of the dam­age. You may have to go to court.

What to do if neighbors sue?

If the leak occurred through no fault of yours, col­lect all the evi­dence of this: acts, pho­tographs, videos of the apart­ment, present the tes­ti­mo­ny of wit­ness­es. If you can prove your inno­cence, the court will take your side. If the fault for the flood lies with you, the dam­age will have to be repaired. The basis for this con­clu­sion is Arti­cle 210 of the Civ­il Code.

If the vic­tim insists on going to court and does not want to go to the world, you can try to dis­suade him from this deci­sion. Remind him that it is he, as the plain­tiff, who will have to pay the state duty, if nec­es­sary, pay for the ser­vices of a lawyer.

- There were cas­es when the defen­dant pro­vid­ed such con­vinc­ing evi­dence of his inno­cence that the court took his side. But even if the court recov­ers the amount of dam­age from the defen­dant, the plain­tiff will not be able to receive it at a time. The cul­prit of the flood will be oblig­ed to pay the mon­ey in parts, some­times it stretch­es for sev­er­al months, — says hous­ing lawyer Niko­lai Kopy­lov.

What if the apartment is rented?

Accord­ing to the Civ­il Code of the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, the own­ers must mon­i­tor the con­di­tion of hous­ing, this is their respon­si­bil­i­ty, there­fore, the home­own­ers will have to be respon­si­ble for the bay of neigh­bors from below, even if ten­ants live in the apart­ment.

– The ten­ant can be held liable in two cas­es: if the cause of the flood­ing was the tenant’s direct sab­o­tage, for exam­ple, he could have pre­vent­ed the flood, but did not do it, or if the lease agree­ment pro­vides for the tenant’s oblig­a­tion to main­tain the engi­neer­ing sys­tems of the apart­ment in good con­di­tion and repair them, – He speaks Niko­lai Kopy­lov.