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Did the insurance adjuster say this was the case?
Got it! Do you tend to disagree?
Understood! But they have no proof this occurred, correct?
Got it! I believe I have everything I need, but was there anything else you’d like to add before I answered? If not, I can begin working on your answer.
No problem! I’ll certainly address that. Anything else you'd like to add you think is relevant before I answer?
Got it! I just need a little time to do some research and draft up a high-quality answer. I'll be with you as soon as possible. It won't be terribly long!
I'm so sorry to hear about your situation!
So a few things to consider:
1. Just because they are saying you're liable doesn't make you liable;
2. Unless the governing documents specifically prohibit certain actions, then they can't hold you liable;
3. The law would only consider your tenant to be negligent if the association can prove that this is the only way that the pipes could have frozen;
4. What this means is that you can ask a court to make the decision here. Basically, you can ask the court to decide conclusively whether you not paying for this would constitute a breach of contract. This is called getting declaratory relief.
Declaratory relief is a procedure whose purpose is to “set controversies at rest before they lead to repudiation of obligations, invasions of rights or commissions of wrongs.”
To seek a declaratory judgment, you have to prove four things:
1. A bona fide justiciable substantial controversy exists;
2. The controversy must exist between parties with adverse legal interest as to their present or prospective obligations related to the contract;
3. A judgment would serve as a useful purpose in clarifying or settling the legal issues; and
4. A judgment will finalize the controversy and offer relief from uncertainty
.All this really means is that you are asking a court to determine definitively what each party’s rights, duties, and obligations are before there is a violation (e.g. a breach of contract). It’s important to know that there has to be an actual controversy. You can’t base it on hypotheticals. For example, if a party has a non-disclosure agreement, but one of the parties didn’t sign the agreement, a person may ask the court for a judgment as to whether the agreement is null and void on that basis. By getting a judge’s blessing one way or another, the parties will know where they stand. No damages are awarded; however, it helps the parties basically “know the score.”
So in the end, you aren't legally required to pay right now.
Please let me know if this has answered your question fully. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need additional assistance or have follow-up questions, please reply to my message below, and I will respond as soon as I can.
Sure thing! So nothng here would make you liable. The truth is they don't want to pay, and are simply guessing as to how this happened, without acknowledging that it is late fall, and it is possible that the pipes just froze!
Correct! In my opinion, I would see if they will reach some sort of settlement to avoid court, but if they won't, they have to prove their case, making it very unlikely.
Sure! My recommendation is to just ask them what proof they have this is your responsibility, and what evidence from the CCRs do they have that suggests that you are liable for the freezing pipes, which are typically common elements. Without some proof int he law or the CCRs, I'd recommend advising them you will not pay.
I don’t have any specific contacts; however, I can do the next best thing.
One thing I recommend is going through your state’s lawyer referral service (LRS). The LRS typically only lists experienced attorneys who have adequate staffing to assist people.
Yelp.com is a surprisingly good place to find lawyers.
You can check out find.lawyer.com - Lawyer.com Free Consultation Lawyer Form - JustAnswer
You can also find a lawyer on the Legal Services Corporation website. The LSC is an independent non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 1974 to help people find legal aid services (https://www.lsc.gov/what-legal-aid/find-legal-aid).
Sometimes, the local law schools can provide free legal assistance, too. Yelp.com is a surprisingly good place to find lawyers.
You can also return to this site and ask questions to me as you go through this process to keep your costs down.
Did you have any other questions for me today?
These are the same throughout.
Also, because this is a Canada law question, a Canadian law expert must also review this and give you the right info. I just barely realized it was turned over to the USA side.
The system is still in the process of properly filtering out by country, but it’s not there yet. This is particularly troublesome for English-speaking countries like yours. This means that I have to opt out of this discussion, alert our moderators, and have them shift you to the appropriate website so a legal expert licensed in your country can help. Thanks so much and I apologize for the inconvenience.
they will most likely be responsible for all damages