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Old 10-07-05, 11:18 AM   #1
Neuman
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Apartment dwellers help! Are we responsible for this?

Around 3:45 this morning there was a pounding on my door. I answered it, and there were about 5 firefighters standing there, along with one coming in my window.(!) They said there was a leak in the apartment below us and that they thought it was coming form our apartment. I look at my sink (the one sink the entire apartment, we don't even have one in the bathroom)and the sink is on and flowing at pretty much full blast. Apparantly my roommate was drunk last night and left it on. Now they are telling me we are responsible for all damages to the downstairs apartment. Let me make it clear that the water was NOT flowing OUT of the sink. There was just alot of water going down the drain over the course of several hours. They are also telling us that "all" of the downstairs neighbors possessions are destroyed. I am at work now, and cannot get to the apartment until 6:30. I have yet to talk to the downstairs neighbor, as I do not know how to reach her, so I am going to knock on the door and take pictures. Can they make us pay for damages? I mean we did accidently leave the water on, so does that make it our fault? Can't I run the water all day and night if I want to?
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Old 10-07-05, 11:19 AM   #2
Minor Threat
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Do you not have renters insurance?
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Old 10-07-05, 11:21 AM   #3
DodgingCars
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I think so. I think you guys were negligent and that your roomates actions directly caused the damage downstairs. It doesn't matter if it was an accident or not. If you accidently left the iron on and it caused a fire, I'm pretty sure you would be help responsible for damages as well.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:25 AM   #4
cpgator
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To me, it sounds more like the problem was caused by the plumbing, not leaving the water on. You should be able to leave your water running all night, and as long as it is not overflowing, there would be no damage. Sounds like the piping came apart and prevented the water from properly draining outside.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:28 AM   #5
maxfisher
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I can't imagine how you'd be responsible for this. You're renting the apt., of which the water faucet is a part. You should be allowed to use it as much as you want, as long as you're using it in an acceptable and correct manner. I mean, say your apt. comes with a ceiling lighting fixture and you leave it on all night and some deficiency in the fixture causes a fire... would anyone argue this is your fault instead of the apt. complex's? I don't see how the plumbing is different.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:29 AM   #6
dork
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Wow, firefighters are fighting water now. Soon there'll be no stopping them.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:30 AM   #7
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A few questions:

1) Who is on the lease?
2) Is the building's plumbing faulty? Why did simply leaving a faucet running overnight cause this much damage?
3) Is your roommate willing to solely pay for damages? After all, from your description it sounds completely his fault. See question 1.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:31 AM   #8
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Sorry, Neuman, but I think your roomate bears responsibility, although the landlord may also bear responsibility for faulty plumbing. Leaving the water running full blast all night was negligent. Damages resulted.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:35 AM   #9
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If the faucet was truly not overflowing and instead just going down the drain, the apartment complex is responsible for the damages, since it was a plumbing problem. Also, why the hell did they call the fire department (!) instead of just banging on your door instead?

Your roommate is a dipshit, but the only thing he is responsible for is the few extra bucks on your water bill next month.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:37 AM   #10
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I award the plantiff $500,000 in damages, 50% from the landlord, 50% from the renters.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:41 AM   #11
dork
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groucho
I award the plantiff $500,000 in damages, 50% from the landlord, 50% from the renters.
I reduce the award to $1000 plus the defendants aren't allowed within 100 feet of running water for a year. Also, they have to read to old people.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:43 AM   #12
tublecane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandoman
Sorry, Neuman, but I think your roomate bears responsibility, although the landlord may also bear responsibility for faulty plumbing. Leaving the water running full blast all night was negligent. Damages resulted.
If it is not overflowing I have a hard time seeing how this is negligant. I think we should be coming up with stories as to an acceptable reason someone would want to run the water all night so he can use that.

I submit that you wanted to raise the humidity in the room but didn't want to buy a humidifier! maybe your roomate was keeping the temperature too low and you wanted to raise it...
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Old 10-07-05, 11:45 AM   #13
lordwow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuman
Apparantly my roommate was drunk last night and left it on. Now they are telling me we are responsible for all damages to the downstairs apartment... I mean We did accidently leave the water on.
I think you answered your own question.

Think of it this way, is there any way the people in the apartment below you could have stopped the water flow? No.
Is there any way you could have stopped the water flow? Yes, by having your drunk roommate shut it off.

I guess the question is, if it's not you (and by you I mean the people in your apartment) to blame... who is it? The reason this mess occurred was because of neglagence on the part of your roommate.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:48 AM   #14
Neuman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordwow
I guess the question is, if it's not you (and by you I mean the people in your apartment) to blame... who is it? The reason this mess occurred was because of neglagence on the part of your roommate.
Well, obviously the landlord for having pipes from 1910. I mean we've had problems with this before. Apparantly the pipes from our shower would leak into the same apartment. I think the Super fixed it though. At least he was in our apartment enough to create the illusion of him fixing it.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dork
I reduce the award to $1000 plus the defendants aren't allowed within 100 feet of running water for a year. Also, they have to read to old people.
Damn activist judges.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:52 AM   #16
talemyn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordwow
Think of it this way, is there any way the people in the apartment below you could have stopped the water flow? No.
Is there any way you could have stopped the water flow? Yes, by having your drunk roommate shut it off.
But you forgot a question . . .

Is there anyway the landlord could have stopped the water flow? Yes, by having plumbing that can handle normal water flow from a single kitchen faucet.
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Old 10-07-05, 11:58 AM   #17
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You dont happen to live in an apartment on Steinway Street do you?? This is the same type of shit that is always going on in our apartment building. I would fight it, because the fact is, the supers of these buidlings do dick when it comes to maintaining the apartments and they should be the ones who are to bear the responsibility.
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Old 10-07-05, 12:20 PM   #18
Breakfast with Girls
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxfisher
I mean, say your apt. comes with a ceiling lighting fixture and you leave it on all night and some deficiency in the fixture causes a fire... would anyone argue this is your fault instead of the apt. complex's?
That's a really good analogy. No one else in the apartment would have the ability to turn off your light except for you -- but that still doesn't make it your fault if bad wiring causes a fire.
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Old 10-07-05, 12:27 PM   #19
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BTW, Firefighters often help clean up flood damage, because they have the equipment to do so. I think they might charge for their services.
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Old 10-07-05, 12:29 PM   #20
DodgingCars
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
That's a really good analogy. No one else in the apartment would have the ability to turn off your light except for you -- but that still doesn't make it your fault if bad wiring causes a fire.
But it's not a good analogy because there isn't really a perceived danger in leaving a ceiling light on, where there is a perceived danger in letting your water run all night.
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Old 10-07-05, 12:30 PM   #21
DodgingCars
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talemyn
But you forgot a question . . .

Is there anyway the landlord could have stopped the water flow? Yes, by having plumbing that can handle normal water flow from a single kitchen faucet.
Is water running constantly all day, really "normal" water flow?
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Old 10-07-05, 12:42 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuman
...They are also telling us that "all" of the downstairs neighbors possessions are destroyed... Can they make us pay for damages?...
Who is "they"? The landlord? If so, of course they will be trying to blame you hoping you'll pay up, but in reality the plumbing was bad so it's 100% the landlord's fault. 100%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
If the faucet was truly not overflowing and instead just going down the drain, the apartment complex is responsible for the damages, since it was a plumbing problem. Also, why the hell did they call the fire department (!) instead of just banging on your door instead?

Your roommate is a dipshit, but the only thing he is responsible for is the few extra bucks on your water bill next month.
This is what I was going to say.

You would have been responsible if the sink was overflowing, but water going down a drain should not have overflowed into the apartment below. Plumbing is the landlordís problem, not yours, thus the responsibility is 100% the landlords.

Expect the landlord to fight you on this, of course, but hold your ground. If you want, check with a lawyer who specializes in tenant/landlord disputes. Also, document everything, and donít be surprised to see a small claims suit against you from the tenant below you (your defense would be that you werenít liable since the plumbing was faulty, thus the landlord is liable).

And of course never admit liability to anybody. Don't tell the neighbor "We'll take care of this", "send us a bill", or whatever. Actually, I'm not sure what good it would be to go to their apartment to take pictures, it's not your problem.
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Old 10-07-05, 12:52 PM   #23
DodgingCars
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heat
Who is "they"? The landlord? If so, of course they will be trying to blame you hoping you'll pay up, but in reality the plumbing was bad so it's 100% the landlord's fault. 100%.


This is what I was going to say.

You would have been responsible if the sink was overflowing, but water going down a drain should not have overflowed into the apartment below. Plumbing is the landlordís problem, not yours, thus the responsibility is 100% the landlords.
So if it overflowed in his apt it's his fault, but if it overflows in his neighbors it's not? I understand that the landlord may have had some responsibility to keep the drains clean so that water would move through easily, but I think it's silly not to think that running water all day, causing it to overflow in the downstairs apt doesn't leave the tenant also somewhat responsible.
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Old 10-07-05, 12:56 PM   #24
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No it's not your responsibilty. If the plumbing works like it's supposed to then leaving the water on all night doesn't cause any problems.

Although now that I think about it if the water overflowed out of your sink and flooded the downstaris apartment you would be responible for it so it's the same thing. Whether the drain is clogged or there's a crack in the pipe it could have easily been avoided by simply turning the water off. Judge Milian would have you paying for this I think.
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Old 10-07-05, 01:01 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tublecane
I think we should be coming up with stories as to an acceptable reason someone would want to run the water all night so he can use that.
you suffer from insomnia and find that listening to the sound of running water is the only way you can fall asleep.
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