Toilet overflowed and there is water damage to the floors below me, can I be sued?


My toilet was clogged and over flowed and I called the landlord to fix it and he never came. A week later, after contacting the landlord by phone two more times about having the toilet fixed, it over flowed again this time causing water damage to the apartments below me. Do I need to be worried about being sued for…

The way you’ve described the problem, it sounds like an internal structural problem with the plumbing! The landlord is responsible for the maintenance of the building & systems contained there! Plumbing, electrical, heating… etc!
You’ve reported the problem on more than one occasion, so unless you are directly responsible for the water overflowing, it is in the landlord’s lap!
The other possible course of action might be, hire a plumber to fix the problem then withhold whatever the cost may be from your rent in an escrow account against the security deposit!

There’s two ways to go: the easy way and the hard way. The hard way means getting the condo association and your neighbour to file claims on their individual policies, and then being prepared to take one or the other to court if they either: a) refuse to file the claim, or b) their company refuse to file a claim. From your description, and despite others “opinions”, since she caused her toilet to overflow by using too much toilet paper, she is indeed liable. Just becasue she didn’t hang around long enough to realize the toilet was overflowing does not excuse the fact that she is the cause of the toilet overflowing. The easy way would be to report the claim to your company, and letting your insurer worry about recovering damages from the other insurers. As with everything in life the easy path is not without it’s pitfalls. If you had a claims free discount, you will probably lose it, and may not be able to regain the same level of discount for several years, depending on your insurer. If you have had other claims in the recent past you may be non-renewed by your current insurer, or even be subject to a surcharge. You will have to weigh these potential costs versus how much your repairs will be plus how much aggravation you are willing to put up with. It would be best to speak to your broker/agent who can give you better details about your options.

Contact the person below you, apologize, and offer to pay for any damages. Faulty plumbing would be the landlord’s responsibility, but a clogged toilet is the tenant’s fault.

I assume that the landlord has more money than you, so it would be more likely that he would get sued, since it would, probably, not be cost effective to sue you.

Plus, the landlord owns the building, so it is more likely that he would be found liable (but there is no guarantee — you clogged the toilet).

If you are really concerned about liability, ask a lawyer barred in your state if you should be concerned. Usually the first meeting is cheep. Check the web-page of your local bar association for a referral.

Yes, you can always be sued. Keep it simple. Don’t say anything that implies you were at fault. It’s water damage and we’ll leave it at that for now.

If guilt is unavoidable then see if they’ll accept a $20 “for their trouble”. That can be counted as compensation that was agreed upon. Any agreement can be legally binding.. verbal or otherwise.Only way i know out of an agreement is if you were ‘under duress’ or you can prove you were joking or being sarcastic. In a civil matter its really up to the judge.

Check your lease but regardless, the owner of the property is always liable for what they allow on their property. You have guests on your property that injure someone and you can be held accountable.

Good luck

A clogged toilet is not the landlord’s problem, it’s your problem, and you are liable for all damages resulting from it. Sorry.

If the water damage or water from your toilet damages valuable items from the people affected you MIGHT. As long as you get it fixed in a timely fashion you should be fine.

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