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Old 04-21-2013, 09:06 PM   #1
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Urgent: Leaking Washroom Ceiling from Above

About 10 days ago, I discovered the ceiling of my washroom is leaking brown-ish water down. It turns out that the suite directly above me may have plumbing issues when they renovated their place.

My ceiling drywall is now cut up, the pipe looks rotten/rusted. What appears to be shit water is coming down for the past 10 days...

The owner upstairs is taking her sweet ass time to "assess the situation" and "evaluate her options". She wouldn't open her door for our plumber to take an estimate because she has her own plumber. Asking us to deal with her plumber directly...

We do not want to use her plumber because he wasn't good last time he helped us fix our other washroom's ceiling. (We have two washrooms)

Strata seems to have no urgency to help fix the situation either.

My mom is stressed out because it appears to be shit water coming down. We cannot use that washroom and several bugs have dropped down from the opened ceiling. This is somewhat a health/sanitary concern.

What can we do? Are there any relevant laws we can follow or ask strata to follow? Can the city do anything about it? I imagine lawyering up would be my last resort, but wouldn't a lawsuit take a longggggggg time?
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:11 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure this is a civil issue. City Of Vancouver Property Use Inspectors do not have jurisdiction when it comes to Strata Properties.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:11 PM   #3
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Maybe don't actually lawyer up yet, but threatening the strata and the tenant with lawyers is a good way to light a fire under their asses. Although I'd wonder why the plumbing in the floor would have been touched by those above you anyways in a reno. If there were shit leaking on my head in my bathroom though, MY plumber would have fixed it already, and I'd tell her to go fuck herself if she asked me to wait for her plumber.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Give something in writing to the strata that's dated. Keep records of everything that's going on. Keep complaining. A lawyer is not going to speed things up.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:23 PM   #5
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Well, whoever is doing the work holds the liability. I pay like $1000 a year for my liability insurance(which doesn't even cover everything I do...shh).

I don't give a shit which plumber she wants to use. That's the first thing. I'd either tell her, this guy goes and takes a look, or I go through the strata and...this guy goes and takes a look. If I had done something that caused a leak downstairs, I would be apologetic and trying to do whatever I can to work with the guy, not strong-arming him out of the bathroom.

She doesn't want you in the bathroom...that's the problem. Why? Probably no permits, or the strata doesn't know what she's doing.

One person might start making calls, and a bunch of shit for her.

Myself? I'd level with her, tell her I don't care what you are doing...I want my guy to look and know that nothing else is going to rain in on my head. Step aside. Then hand her the bill for plumber and drywall repair. And no, your cousin, whom I'm sure that while he hasn't actually done drywall repair, but watched it on tv is really good, I'm going to hire someone that charges an obscene amount, and bill it to you. And when I say obscene, I don't mean profane, I mean really offensive. :wink:
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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I am drafting up a letter right now. Would the language in the Strata Act be relevant?

Strata Property Act

(2) An owner, tenant, occupant or visitor must not cause damage, other than reasonable wear and tear, to the common property, common assets or those parts of a strata lot which the strata corporation must repair and maintain under these bylaws or insure under section 149 of the Act.

or...

(1) An owner, tenant, occupant or visitor must allow a person authorized by the strata corporation to enter the strata lot
...
(b) at a reasonable time, on 48 hours' written notice, to inspect, repair or maintain common property, common assets and any portions of a strata lot that are the responsibility of the strata corporation to repair and maintain under these bylaws or insure under section 149 of the Act.

It doesn't seem relevant because my bathroom and her bathroom are not strata property.. or is it?
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:25 PM   #7
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Oh, the unit upstairs does not have insurance...
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:27 PM   #8
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Does your strata require you to have insurance? I know a lot do, and if she doesn't, she's in for a fine and (pretty soon) a small claims suit, I'd guess.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:56 PM   #9
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Im pretty sure most stratas require confirmation of insurance every year
fines are pretty hefty if there is no insurance
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:08 PM   #10
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not sure if this can apply but its worth a shot. collect the brown water in a jar and send it off for testing. a safe route maybe through vancouver coastal health saying water is being leaked into your unit and you have sanitary and health safety concerns.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthchilli View Post
Im pretty sure most stratas require confirmation of insurance every year
fines are pretty hefty if there is no insurance
I never had to give confirmation of insurance when I owned my townhouse.

I actually had a similar experience as the OP except I was the guy that leaked on my neighbor below. Had just moved in, had renovated prior to moving in and when the dishwasher was hooked up the hose wasn't secured. I started the dishwasher left the house, came home to a flooded kitchen. It leaked through the neighbours ceiling. I was lucky because where I worked, I just sent some guys over to fix it who I worked I with.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:18 PM   #12
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Call your insurance company and let them deal with her insurance company and take her to court.. that's the easiest.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:22 PM   #13
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Call your insurance company and let them deal with her insurance company and take her to court.. that's the easiest.
She has no insurance...
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:29 PM   #14
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The pretty much it is small claims and you have to wait on her.

Just an example to get insurance..

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She has no insurance...
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:34 PM   #15
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shit water and bugs, that sounds horrible
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:37 PM   #16
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Wait.. who is "she" (your mom or the other person above you?)? if you have insurance.. that's fine.. call them.. they will fix your place and sue her to recover the money.

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She has no insurance...
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:41 PM   #17
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My mom has insurance. The owner upstairs (she) has no insurance.

It's extremely annoying that upstairs is on the driver seat. Even if we repair our end, her pipe upstairs is still leaking and it's not even a band-aid solution.

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Old 04-21-2013, 10:42 PM   #18
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Unfortunate situation, but your issues are pretty minor; it's not like a pipe has burst and is flooding your unit.

I would; take a quick picture of the present condition to present in small claims, put on gloves and wrap the pipe with electrical tape or use hose clamps to hold on a rubber patch, and seal off the hole in the ceiling with plastic and tuck tape. A temporary repair will solve your immediate complaints and ease your mom's stress level. 15 minutes worth of work and $10 or less, pretty simple.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:42 PM   #19
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Do what Gridlock said. Most problems will be magically solved when you mention the word "lawsuit".
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:50 AM   #20
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My mom has insurance. The owner upstairs (she) has no insurance.

It's extremely annoying that upstairs is on the driver seat. Even if we repair our end, her pipe upstairs is still leaking and it's not even a band-aid solution.

I don't understand. Since you are insured, why isn't your insurance company rectifying the situation for you?
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:56 AM   #21
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Easy then just call your mom's insurance company, DON"T touch the damage until the insurance company has seen it and documented it. They will send remedial / restoration company to fix it promptly and charge the owner upstairs. It is not rocket science.

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My mom has insurance. The owner upstairs (she) has no insurance.

It's extremely annoying that upstairs is on the driver seat. Even if we repair our end, her pipe upstairs is still leaking and it's not even a band-aid solution.

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Old 04-22-2013, 07:29 AM   #22
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What happens when it leaks again? It sounds like it's leaking from his neighbours unit, she wouldn't provide access for his plumber what do you think she's going to say when the insurance company sends someone over? It doesn't sound like she's going to let them in to fix the main issue. You going to keep fronting those deductibles, the insurance company isn't just going to waive them and say we'll collect from the upstairs tenants. They will reimburse if they collect but that's a big if, it sounds like the upstairs tenant isn't going to cooperate.

I feel for the OP, obviously the first step is getting the upstairs tenant to fix the leaking issue. Until that's fixed no point in repairing the drywall. I would do what mindbomber said and temporarily put up some poly or something so you can still use your washroom. Document everything, if she doesn't fix it in a reasonable time you can go after her for more then just cosmetic damage to your bathroom.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:13 AM   #23
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Quote:
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My mom has insurance. The owner upstairs (she) has no insurance.
This is what you do:

1.) Write a "letter" that says: "You have 3 days to fix the water leak problem, if this is not done in 3 days a lawsuit will be slipped underneath your door for ALL DAMAGES.
2.) Make a copy for yourself & for the strata.
3.) Go give her the fucking letter.
4.) Call up your insurance company and tell them and your going to sue the cunt if she doesn't handle shit NOW.
5.) Have a coffee.

She doesn't have insurance, so I'm sure when she see's a piece of paper threatening a lawsuit, she'll take her head out of her ass.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:46 AM   #24
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Out of curiosity, would a building's strata have any say or responsibility in a situation like this?
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:26 AM   #25
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how old is the building?
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