I need help with my personal belonging (furniture damages) caused by the leak of the building in which I rented before.

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Customer: Second opinion] I need help with my personal belonging (furniture damages) caused by the leak of the building in which I rented before.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: qld
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Qld Australia
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I had emailed conversations with the bodycorp’s insurer. They insisted that the leak was not forceeable, therefore the bodycorp was not responsible for the damages.
Answered by John Melis in 7 mins 2 years ago
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John Melis
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Customer
The attached was the letter of compensation claim wrote to the bodycorp who was responsible for the leak.
Customer
Here was the email response I received yesterday (more than a month wait time) from the body corp’s insurance broker:Madison
We are the insurance broker for Fuel Apartments CTS32724 (“our client”) and we have been asked by our client to respond to the letter of demand dated 30th April 2020.
Consideration has been placed into the tenants allegations of negligence and our client believes that the tenant will not be able to substantiate these allegations for these reasons:
1. The incident itself was not foreseeable. There is evidence from the attending contractor to attest to this. This is also manifestly evident, that a leak in a riser could not be anticipated.
2. The response to the incident by our client was adequate and professional. A timeline of events, and repairers invoices with dates of attendance, will attest to this.
3. There is no indication our client could have done anything differently in order to have better mitigated the damage. Whilst the standard of care imposed on our client is high, it is not unlimited.
It is therefore our clients view that due to the above factors they would not be found negligent under common law. If the tenant persists with their claim we believe there is ample evidence to defend it.
If the tenant has contents insurance, we recommend the tenant make contact with their contents insurer to see if they may cover the damage, as the items are deemed contents item for insurance purposes.
Customer
I would like to know whether their response had legal ground and if I wish to take the matter to QCAT, will I be successful in getting the compensation from the bodycorp.
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John Melis, Expert

Hi, I’m John, solicitor, and reviewing your post, and may need to ask a few questions a long the way to assist you.

Has the other party been forthcoming with communication with you in trying to address the issue or even considered the option of mediation

Customer
Hi John, thanks for reviewing my case. Yes there were email conversations this morning between myself and the broker.
Customer
The broker however insisted that their client (the bodycorp) was not legally responsible to compensate the damages
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John Melis, Expert

Based on your very important information, you will be able to raise a claim for compensation. With respect to the email communications you have done, will I do recommend you consider is the following steps

You can seek resolution in the following way and claim compensation as well.

I recommend that you file a claim as soon as possible.

What you need to do is issue a formal complaint in writing to the other party, seeking an assessment/review on the matter, and that you require a response within 7 to 14 days subject to your requirements.

Make sure you enclose al factual evidence you have with the correspondence that you send to the other party.

When you draft this correspondence make sure it is in chronological order that is by listing with numbers example; one, two, three, etc.

The more detail you provide it will assist in resolving the specific matter in a timely way.

Where no response is received and you have reviewed the conditions carefully on the agreement if there are any, and you are still not in satisfied with the situation that is occurring, you can then raise a claim in the Tribunal or Court.

By following the above steps, you are placing a structured request to the other party seeking compensation.

I do understand you have sent various emails stating your case, but this time you need to send a formal complaint clearly stipulating the compensation in need and the time frame.

Most likely they will not respond favorably or not respond at all. So in this case allowance of the time period in your correspondence, then commence immediately and action the Queensland civil administrative tribunal

You can manage this process without a lawyer, in your local tribunal, QCAT.

The QCAT process is very good to meditate disputes of this type as it forces the parties to come together to discuss the issues involved.

In most cases at mediation the matter will settle.

You will be the applicant and the other party the respondent.

The important filing document is the points of claim. This document needs to be carefully drafted.

What you need to do is to write the complaint in a chronological order detailing what is the issue and what action you have taken to try and rectify the matter.

The chronological order need to be numbered with points 1, 2, 3, etc. with each point being a separate item.

I recommend that you download the application first, complete the same and then upload as required to commence the claim.

The following link will assist you further.

http://www.qcat.qld.gov.au

Would you like to consider this option.

You have a legal right to protect your interests in this important situation.

This link above will assist you in the requirements to complete the application form and there are various help menus on the website that will also assist you in finalising the application that can be submitted in respect of pursuit of your claim.

Before you submit your application, make sure that you have all your evidence in hand as this will be required at the hearing date and to be served on the other party.

Keep in mind that once you have lodged your application you need to serve the application on the other party once instructed by the tribunal.

Thank you for reaching out today.

You have a legal right to protect your interests in this important situation.

I am a user like you in this chat forum to assist in your important question today.

Thank you kindly for rating me with 5 stars, which helps me support the community.

You can come back to this post any time to ask questions without additional charge.

I hope I have assisted with answering your important question today, and thank you for supporting the community.

Customer
They advised me to claim the damages through my home content insurer. I had contacted my insurer and to process the claim I would need to pay excess myself.
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John Melis, Expert

Initially you'll have to pay the XS but you can sue this against the other party for compensation

Customer
Thank you for your advise. So do you suggest me to lodge the claim through my insurer and pay the excess first, and then take the matter to QCAT for the compensation of the excess fee?
Customer
Is it true that the bodycorp is not legally responsible if the leak was not forceeable?
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John Melis, Expert

Yes, you are correct and that is the way you can cover all your costs

Customer
I would just want to make sure that I have enough legal ground to get the excess back, since the damages were caused by the leak in the building, not natural disaster nor me. I believe that I shouldn’t be paying anything.
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John Melis, Expert

Yes you do have enough ground to get your XS amount paid back through a civil process

Customer
the points the broker stated in the email do not stand enough legal ground to deny my claim?
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John Melis, Expert

What you should do is look at the policy conditions based on the current circumstance and use the policy as your strength back at the broker

Customer
Do you mean the policy of my home content insurance?
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John Melis, Expert

Yes, you need to consider the policy conditions, as well as the fact that you can also bring a civil claim against the other party but anything that's not covered under the policy. That's why raising a claim in the Queensland civil administrative tribunal is your additional strength insuring that you're not out of pocket for anything.

Customer
What the broker claimed was that the leak was not forceeable and there was no sign of negligence from the body corp. therefore they are not legally responsible for my claim.
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John Melis, Expert

In a situation like this you can challenge the decision on the basis of bringing in another expert to assess the relevant pipe etc to determine how that leak actually occurred.

Then you may also consider the relevant area the pipe is running through where there is a common property or not common property, but if it's not a common property, then the claim can be brought against the party who actually cause the damage to the pipe. And if it's a pipe this joint between two properties, then in this particular instance both parties need to share the cost and if you other part is not willing to pay the cost, then you can raise a claim straight against the other party

No matter which way you look at it you can get compensation it's just a matter of putting the case facts together in the correct format and then running it accordingly

Customer
Thank you very much for your advise.
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John Melis, Expert

You are welcome, and thank you for supporting the community.

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