What to Do When Your Upstairs Neighbor Floods Your Apartment
Having your own house is a luxury that allows you to have a larger living space for yourself and your family. But not all people reside in a house and instead may live in an apartment building. When you live in an apartment, you may have your own personal space, but you also have neighbors in the same building. Because of this, there is a greater chance that they can interfere with your living environment.
In less bothersome situations, the biggest problem you may have regarding your neighbors is noise. In more serious scenarios, your neighbors can be at fault for fire or water damage caused to your personal property.
Flooded Apartment from Your Neighbor
One example of such a case is if your upstairs neighbor has a water-related issue that floods your apartment.
Finding out your apartment has flooded is frustrating, but it can be even more aggravating if it is due to your upstairs neighbor. If you have renter’s insurance, then you will likely feel hopeful about your chances of getting the damage covered. However, it is not as simple as that.
Just because you have renter’s insurance does not mean the flood damage your apartment experienced will be covered. Insurance coverage is rather specific when it concerns water damage, so there is a lot that needs to be considered and evaluated when dealing with a flooded apartment.
Continue reading to learn more about what to do when your upstairs neighbor floods your apartment.
Actions to Take
1. Document the Damage
Take pictures and record video that documents the flood damage your apartment and personal contents have suffered. If you do have renterls insurance and will be filing a claim, this documentation can help provide necessary evidence that your insurance company will ask for. Furthermore, this can help you keep track of the extent of the damage.
2. Salvage What You Can
Minimize the damage by salvaging what you can. Gather your personal contents that have been unharmed and store them away safely in an unaffected area where they will not suffer any damage.
3. Contact Your Landlord
When your apartment floods, you are concerned about the damage to not only your personal belongings but your living space as well. However, the apartment itself is not yours; it belongs to your landlord. That said, they need to be informed of the water damage to their property.
4. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurance company to inform them of the property damage and to file a claim. The sooner you reach out to them, the sooner a representative will come to your place and evaluate the damage.
Questions to Ask
1. What Kind of Policy Do You Have?
You must also consider the type of renter’s insurance policy you have. If you have a peril policy, then it will only cover the perils mentioned in the policy, which limits the coverage you receive. If you have an all-peril policy, then it will cover nearly any peril that is not specifically excluded in the policy.
2. What Caused the Flood Damage?
Whether renter’s insurance will cover water damage restoration and cleanup costs will depend on how the damage occurred, because water damage coverage is very specific.
An actual flood, for example, is not a peril covered by renter’s insurance, but there are other water damage-related perils that are included. You will need to take a look at your policy to see which particular perils are covered by your insurance.
The following are some ways your upstairs neighbor may flood your apartment that will always be covered by renter’s insurance:
- Water leaks from HVAC systems
- Sprinklers or another automatic fire protection system caused accidental damage
- Frozen pipe that burst and flooded the apartment
- Hot water heating system issue, such as a crack or leak, that resulted in water damage
Water damage that occurred as a result of proximate cause will also be covered by renter’s insurance. Proximate cause refers to a series of isolated events that lead to damage. For example, if the building’s roof caves in due to heavy snowfall, causes one apartment to flood, and then leads to yours and other apartments below to also flood, then insurance will cover it. But general direct water damage from flooding and precipitation are not covered.
Flood Damage Restoration Help
If you need flood cleanup and restoration help because your upstairs neighbor has flooded your apartment, then it is imperative to act right away. Water is quick to cause damage, becoming absorbed by any porous building materials and furnishings. The longer the water is left alone, the more damage causes.
Seek professional help from a water damage restoration service. Water damage technicians will handle flood cleanup and water extraction. They will also thoroughly dry out your apartment and affected belongings and conduct flood restoration work.
With professional help, your flooded apartment will be restored to a safe, clean living space.