Water Drama

Living in a townhome or condo sucks for many reasons. The reasons I had before last night were pretty understandable: no private backyard, shared walls, a crappy home owner’s association that continues to raise fees but doesn’t actually *fix* anything. Well, two nights ago I noticed water on the kitchen floor seeping from the baseboard, and last night I have developed a new reason for wanting to move out of the townhome and into a “real” house: sharing a common wall with a renting tenant that doesn’t fix anything.

I was a renter for many years and I feel I was rather conscientious. I always took good care of my home (even if it was a run-down hovel near the beach) and we fixed little things (drawers, toilets, etc) as they needed fixing. I know that not all renters are inherently bad. But the ones next door…I don’t know if the problem is that they don’t call the owner to fix things or the the owner is negligent, but I suspect it is the former.

I noticed the water Tuesday night. Jay checked under the sink (since the water was seeping out just below the sink cupboard) and it was dry. He checked all around the various items that require plumbing: dishwasher, washing machine, water heater, all dry. So he goes next door. The common wall has our kitchen and laundry room and on their side a half bath and their laundry room. They have probably three times as much water standing in their place, and don’t seem in a particular hurry to do anything about it. We mop it up on our side, they mop it up on their side, and we decide to wait a day to see if it comes back/determine where the leak is originating. Yesterday morning there was no water; last night, there was a small lake covering our entire kitchen. Thank goodness we have real tile and not linoleum. I love our tile; it was my favorite thing when we bought the place. But I digress. Jay arrived home first since I had to pick up Luke at preschool, and he noticed the water because he saw Abby (one of the kittens) go sliding and splashing across the kitchen.

So, he goes to see the woman that is on the HOA board to find out what to do since it looks like a problem in the wall between the units. She says it’s not the HOA’s problem (we later find out this is true because each unit has its own water lines coming from the garage, but I’ll get to that). We call the plumber who is, thankfully, very familiar with these townhomes, having lived in one himself years ago. Since Jay called the plumber (had we waited on the next door neighbor it never would have happened), they came to our place first. He looked around and listened to the pipes and spent maybe three minutes there and then went next door. The leak was in their upstairs bathroom piping somewhere. The neighbor’s water main is stuck so they shut off water to the whole building (we had to deal with a pissed off neighbor later because they didn’t tell anyone they were turning off the water, they just did it). Finally it is repaired and we have water again a couple hours later.

There are a few things that really bother me about this incident but the biggest one is this: we leave in two days for Myrtle Beach. It was obvious that the neighbors weren’t going to call their landlord or a plumber or do anything about it. What if this had happened while we were gone?! Our whole kitchen would have been ruined (except the beautiful tile). Thankfully we have someone house-sitting for us since we have the kittens, but I would have hated for her to have to deal with that.

So I have GOT to really work hard to pay off our bills so we can move before something else happens in that place. This isn’t the first incident with the neighbors. Their kids are out of control; I’ve come home from work to find them *on our roof* throwing basketballs at each other. There is no supervision. I cannot wait for the day that we get to move to a real house and leave the townhome/condo drama behind. Then if there is a problem it is OUR problem and we can deal with it promptly and correctly.

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6 Responses to “Water Drama”

  1. Faith Ann Says:

    On your ROOF?!?!

    I would hate having neighbors like that. It’s bad enough to have to deal with leak and worrying about damage, but to have to rely on someone else is just a pain.

    Definitely try to play a budget you can stick with so you can move sooner than later!

  2. Jenn Says:

    As for the little morons playing ball on your roof, that would have warranted an immediate call to the local police if it were me. At a minimum, it should be trespassing, and depending on how old these kids are it might have generated a child neglect/abuse charge as well… The more documentation you can create, the more likely that something will be done about them.

    As for the pipe situation, it really stinks that the HOA won’t do ANYTHING about it. I presume from your comment that they’re “renting tenants”, someone else owns the unit and rents it out? The HOA should at a minimum be contacting the owner of that unit to get THEM to do something about it. Again, as much contact as you can create with the owner. Eventually they’ve got to become enough of a hassle for the owner that he no longer considers it profitable to rent to them, especially if the police become involved in any way.

    Good luck getting the heck away from the neighbors from hell, whether it be by you moving or by them getting evicted for being complete idiots…

  3. Susan Says:

    {{{Jill}}} – I’m sorry you’ve got such irresponsible neighbors!

    I remember being on the board of my condo association when I lived in Australia. One of my neighbors (who was renting) left her bath running overnight, and flooded the condo below her.

  4. Karen Says:

    What a nightmare! I have lived in a flat here in the UK with similar problems so I know exactly what you’re going through. I hope you manage to get sorted and move soon.

  5. Erin Says:

    That is just rediculous! Here’s hoping you can move really really soon. ::fingers crossed::

  6. Anonymous Says:

    On the roof???? That’s awful. (But funny!)

    I had a similar thing happened when I was in a townhome. The water heater next door broke and flooded into *my* place. It soaked the carpet. No furniture was ruined because, well, I had no furniture. (Really) The other people didn’t care at all. đŸ˜¦

    I’m glad you got it worked out.

    Summer
    http://www.summerlouise.com

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