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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 100047
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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We live in South Dakota and own rental property (a

Customer Question

Hello,
We live in South Dakota and own rental property (a condominium) in metro Denver, Colorado. The water heater in our unit leaked, causing damage to the unoccupied unit below, which was under contract. Our insurance, American Family, said we and they had no liability in the matter and wouldn't pay. The owner of the damaged condo incurred about $8,000 in damages, which his insurance paid. We have tentatively agreed that we will split his out of pocket costs that the insurance didn't cover ($1490 -- or $745 as our share) because that seems fair to us. So 2 questions:
1) Do we jeopardize our situation in any way by paying some of the costs, even when our insurance company says there's no liability.
2) The other owner is willing to sign an agreement that this payment closes the matter between us. Are there any points in wording that agreement that we should be aware of.
Thanks,
XXXXX XXXXXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation.

1) Do we jeopardize our situation in any way by paying some of the costs, even when our insurance company says there's no liability.

Yes and no. Any voluntary payment is not automatically an acknowledgment of liability, but can be argued to be one if this gets to trial. So payment shows "belief" of liability. Not that it matters if the two parties are settling.

2) The other owner is willing to sign an agreement that this payment closes the matter between us. Are there any points in wording that agreement that we should be aware of.

Yes. It is important to use a proper RELEASE. See below for an example:

Release

(PARTY ONE) and (PARTY TWO) agree:

WHEREAS, certain disputes and have occurred between the parties hereto, and, WHEREAS, they desire to amicably resolve these disputes and acknowledge the extinguishment of any and all debts, obligations, and liabilities of any kind between the parties, IT IS AGREED:

That in consideration of this agreement, the parties mutually release one another from all claims of any kind whatsoever with regards ***** ***** from the beginning of time to the date of the execution of this agreement, and that this mutual release shall be valid and binding and insure for the benefit of the heirs, successors and assigns of both parties.

This release shall only become considered binding upon (1) the transfer if $___ from PARTY TWO to PARTY ONE and (2) both parties signing the agreement.

Dated: _________________

________________________________________________________________

PARTY ONE

________________________________________________________________

PARTY TWO

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith by rating me positively.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!

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