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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 118660
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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Our apartment flooded. The cause was that we left the faucet

Customer Question

Our apartment flooded. The cause was that we left the faucet running. The sink overflowed and the water kept running. The water crept into our neighbor's apartment as well. The apartment complex hired a third party to come do emergency repairs. Now they are trying to charge us for the repairs of both apartments. However, in my defense, isn't it the responsibility of the complex to keep the pipes clean. A running faucet shoukd send water right through the pipes. It should t flood EVENT if we left it running. I want to know is if here in Texas I can fight this and win and have the apartment complex be financially responsible for the repairs. I woukd say that this is negligence on their behalf. It is also important to know that we never reported faulty pipes to the complex. However, the Mai te Nance guy showed right after the flood and checked the pipes and claims that the pipes are ok. If he says they are ok, how could the flood have happenned? I need to know how I can fight and win this in court in Houston tx.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

The apartment complex has some potential liability, but I am afraid that you leaving the faucet running was the primary cause, so you would be primarily liable for the damages. As far as the clogged pipes, you can sue in court and have the apartment complex found liable for some share, the percentage is up to the judge, but typically it would be about 20%-30% liability in this case, because BUT FOR you leaving the faucet running unattended and unsupervised, the flooding would not have occurred even if the pipes were clogged because you would have caught it if you were paying attention.

So even if you prove it was the pipes, you would not escape primary responsibility, because you were liable to pay attention to the faucet while it was running as that is a duty of a tenant.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
essentially you would advice me to pursue this in court in hopes of diminishing the amount I will pay, but you are close to certain that in the end, I will be held responsible for the majority I of the repair bills?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Quite honestly, you would spend money fighting this but in the end, you are likely to be held liable for the damage. But that does not mean you should not send a letter to the apartment and tell them that you are offering to pay 1/2 because you believe 1/2 is their fault because of the pipes and try to negotiate a lesser amount. In the long run though, if you go to court, they will ultimately hold you liable.