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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 86718
Experience:  Lawyer
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Hi, I own a condo in Ontario and had a water pipe in the

Customer Question

Hi,

I own a condo in Ontario and had a water pipe in the kitchen, under the sink blow up when I was at work. Water escape accured and the condo management opened the door and stopped it. Now, they're asking me to pay $5000 deductible saying that this happened because of the repairs I did. I did not do any repairs and it's not my fault. I refused to pay and now they're registering a lien on my property. I want to take them to court, but not sure what to begin with.

Thank you
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with the best possible answer.

To achieve that goal it may be that I will find that I need to gather further information from you. As well, it's quite possible that you may feel the need to ask me additional questions for further clarification.

But, please understand that as a careful lawyer I will always give you an honest answer even if the answer is sometimes not what you were hoping for.

Why do they think you made repairs?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Because I have kitchen old tiles off, I think. I also repaired the drain pipe, that blew up two weeks ago with the plastic pipe that I bought at Home Depot.


 


The condominium management went into my apartment when I wasn't there, after the incident and took more photos where I had damaged floors and baseboards taken off to be repaired.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
So have you told them you never touched the pipes?

Are these your pipes or part of the common area?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I did. No, the pipe supplies water to my kitchen and it's under my sink. The lawyers of the condominium sent me lien notice.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
Do they admit this is a common area pipe but say it's your fault as you touched them?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

They're saying it's not a common area pipe, it's in my condo and the water supply to this pipe can be turned off from my apartment.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
Do you not have insurance to cover this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I didn't have my personal insurance at the time. I do have it now. At first, the insurance company wasn't going to compensate me anything, but recently they called me and told me that they are going to compensate for the amount of $2,700. The point is that I don't want to pay $5,000 deductible to the corporation when it's not my fault. Why would their insurance want to compensate anything then if it was my fault?

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
I think there is another issue here.

It doesn't matter if it's your fault if you own the pipes.

If it's common element and you did nothing to harm the pipe they they condo is liable.

But if it's your pipe you are liable whether you did something or not as you are liable for the any harm caused by something you own.

So let's say you have a refrigerator and it has a water dispenser and something happens, it jams, the water comes out when you are away or sleeping and floods the apartment below.

You are going to be liable whether you broke the refrigerator or not. As it's yours.

The pipes under the sink belong to the unit owner in most cases and if they belong to you then you are liable for any damages whether you were negligent or not.

Do you see what I mean?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

To do any type of the repairs in my unit I have to ask for the condominium's permission, to repair a refrigerator I don't need anybody's permission. Further, I reviewed Condominium Act and s. 99(2) talks about major perils and water escape is one of them. s.99(1) says that "corporation shall obtain and maintain insurance on its own behalf and on behalf of the owners, for damage to the units and common elements that caused by major perils." They do have this type of the insurance and I think I should not be liable for the deductible.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
I am not sure this is a major peril.

In any event you can seek a court order requiring them to remove the lien.

You can send them a demand letter, give them a deadline to do so and tell them you will sue them if they don't remove the lien and then will be seeking an order for your costs as well.

In fact it may be that to avoid a lawsuit they will agree if they get a letter from a lawyer rather than from you.

You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.

The number is:

1-800-268-8326 or(NNN) NNN-NNNN(within the GTA)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Which court can remove the lien?

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
The Ontario Superior Court of Justice will order the lien be removed from title.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The lien isn't registered yet. What can I do to escape it?

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
I think it may be best to either pay them and then sue them in Small Claims Court to get the money back or have a lawyer threaten them with a lawsuit now.

If you decide to pay and then sue then on the subject line of the check write:

"Without Prejudice" and "Under Protest".

And provide a covering letter with the cheque and say in the letter that the money is being paid without prejudice and under protest and only because you have been threatened with a lien.
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 86718
Experience: Lawyer
Legal Ease and other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. That's a very helpful answer. I just need a little more clarification. The insurance company is compensating me $2,700 for the damage and the deductible asked from me is $5,000 plus fees of $1,600. Does the amount of $2,700 I'm getting effect the amount I can ask for in court after I pay the lien?

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
No because if you are saying you have the right to be fully covered and the condo is saying you don't because you did something wrong and you did not then you have the right to be placed in the position you would have been had this not happened. You should not be out of pocket anything.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Debra,


 


Should I write "Without Prejudice" on the covering letter too?


 


Thank you.

Expert:  Legal Ease replied 1 year ago.
Sure.

That's a good idea!

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