Leaking Duplex Roof – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
An unusual owner’s headache: A couple own a half-duplex, the roof on their neighbor’s side is leaking, and water is flowing on their side. What are we doing about it? Nothing, which is why they called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Owning a home can come with obstacles. Owning a half duplex can almost guarantee a headache.
Tiffany Swartz: “I feel like we’re on a sinking ship that we just can’t get off of, honestly. “
After James and Tiffany bought this side of the duplex in 2007, they had to replace their part of the roof, and their neighbor had to replace his as well.
Tiffany Swartz: “Every time it rained, her whole floor in the house would flood everything, so …”
But their neighbor wouldn’t fix his side, and you don’t have to be a roofer to know what happens if part of a building leaks.
Tiffany Swartz: “It’s starting to happen on our side so it became the place where we had to start shoveling water from our side and, you know, towels and everything.”
They told their neighbor about his problem and how he had become theirs.
James Swartz: “He just lost interest in everything.”
Then the man died and the bank had control of the property.
Tiffany Swartz: “They said they weren’t responsible. They actually told us that whoever the new owners would be responsible for. “
But because of COVID, the bank couldn’t foreclose and sell the house to a new owner, so James and Tiffany suffered for months.
Tiffany Swartz: “And so basically every time it rains a lot, we have water on our end, and we have mold and just a big mess.”
James Swartz: “The walls start to darken every time it rains.
The bank put a blue tarp on the neighbor’s roof, which quickly exploded.
And so the water continues to enter the Swartz side.
Their drywall bubbles, their baseboards rot, and mold grows.
James Swartz: “Oh, I am very angry and very upset.”
Howard, what can owners like Swartzs do?
Howard Finkelstein: “Technically the lender doesn’t own the property until they foreclose on it, and foreclosures have been pushed back because of COVID, but the lender can fix the roof. If they don’t, have the city push them to do it or go to court and have a judge demand the lender to fix the roof.
We spoke to Cooper City officials, and they told us they were pushing to fix this issue.
The lender’s lawyer has now scheduled a hearing for March 9 to ask the judge to give them permission to repair the roof.
Cooper City will then do its part by writing to us, “The city understands the urgency of Swartz’s face and our common goal is to accelerate this resolution on behalf of our residents. “
And after that, Tiffany and James will have to deal with the damage inside their house.
Howard Finkelstein: “First, file a claim with your insurance company. If they refuse to pay, you need to hire a lawyer to sue the lender, and if you can convince the judge that he was negligent by responding too slowly, he may have to pay for your repairs.
Tiffany Swartz: “There is light at the end of the tunnel. “
A little light because the leaks will hopefully be sealed.
Tiffany Swartz: “At least if they fix their side, it’ll give us a chance to fix ours.”
And Tiffany said a city official told her they would try to help her get a grant to fix her side of the duplex.
Now, it’s not just a half duplex that can be a nightmare. Many neighborhoods have dilapidated homes in foreclosure. Encourage officials in your city or county to help you. If they want to, they have a lot of power at their disposal.
A problem that separates you? Don’t want a watered down quick fix? Come under our roof. Because our quilting can form a good solution.
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