Ah, the luxury of living in a townhouse complex with neighbors above and on the side of me. (I'm currently rethinking this) I longed for a nice little townhouse with a small fenced in courtyard for my English Cocker Spaniel and we have managed to upgrade with nice vinyl tempered glass sliding doors and windows, and got it to just how we want it.
Well, remember the Condo/Townhouse Living in Hawaii..........and A Water Leak where my bathroom leak ended up in a total restoration of bath/shower/walls?
I have been happy these last few months since I no longer have to worry about fiberglass cheapy bathtubs and a leaking shower behind a fiberglass wall. I've had my beautiful ceramic tile walls, bathtub and all new plumbing. Luxury!
Now what? Last night we were getting ready for bed and Gary went in the kitchen and started saying...oh 'shucks'. I ran in and saw leaking from the ceiling and through our lighting fixture.
Drip, drip, drip.
Gary runs upstairs and no one answers. He calls and she says, "Oh, yeah. I told the landlord a week ago that the floor was buckling and there was a leak". Uh, and...and! AND!
If you live in a townhouse or apartment complex and there is a leak you do something about it ASAP, lest you damage other units below or on the side of you and be liable for damages.
These are tenants above us. Sometimes, people just don't care because it's not theirs. Sometimes, common sense just doesn't phase them.
I asked her, "Why didn't you tell us this a week ago?" She says, "Oh, we figured you'd let us know".
From these pictures, wouldn't you say I found out the hard way?????
The resident manager calls us around 12am and walks us through shutting off their water upstairs. And...she threatens to call the police. HUH? Who cares about our falling ceiling. Who cares about mold, mildew and electrical fixtures that are leaking water. Who cares? I DO!
Our ceiling is torn apart, mildew is apparent (after a week of leaking!) and the tenant is only worried about having their water on.
Did the plumber find the leak? Oh, NO. But here's our number if it starts again....and uh, if you find out who is reponsible ..they can fix your ceiling.
There will always be problems with a townhouse or condo but just be prepared to take the appropriate course of action. EVEN IF YOU'RE a TENANT be responsible and don't wait a week to tell your neighbor!
The following are the steps we took from 11pm to 1:30am:
- Immediately call security and the resident manager (in our case the resident manager was on vacation :) but security came right away and the resident manager got our message and called back within an hour.
- Shut off the water and put a bowl or bucket to catch dripping water. (if it's a pipe burst well...that's that) If you have a separate meter for each unit and you know where it's coming from all the better.
- Even if it's not your fault call your insurance company so they're aware. They'll be able to contact the responsible party's insurance company to get your damage taken care of.
- Contact your Maintenance Company for the Association and your complex. In our case the 'emergency' contact for management was on duty and called back promptly.
I had been responsible through MY bathroom leak (Hawaii Townhouse Living... Responsible Homeowners Take Steps to Protect) and notified everyone so neighbors would not have damage from us. I had hoped for the same if it ever happened to anyone else. NO SUCH LUCK.
Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands to protect your other neighbors from further damage. Even if they don't care....doesn't mean you can't be a responsible individual in your community.
Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocating to Hawaii, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents. Website: www.hawaiihomesmarket.com
Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.
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