Renal Condo Damage Question

Hi all,
Here is the situation. I have a friend who is renting out a condominium. The tenant flushed something down the toilet, the toilet overflowed and damaged the unit below. She has been given a bill by the owner of the downstairs unit for the repairs. The cost of the repair exceeds the amount held as a security deposit. Is the tenant liable for the damage? What would you do in this case? Thanks in advance for your input.

John Penkala


Unless you could prove that the tenant purposely intended to back up the plumbing and flood the condo you will be hard pressed to charge the tenant anything (Hold to liability) as the whole thing was probable an accident and part of the liabilities an investor excepts to own rental real estate. 

The law does not hold the tenant to anything in this scenario unless you can prove they did it on purpose and that is improbable and hard to prove even if you thought the tenant did it on purpose.

The landlord is responsible for the whole repair and the tenant can not be billed or have any part of their deposit seized for an accident!

I as a landlord pay the cost’s to restore the unit and the neighbors downstairs unit or I pay the deductible for my insurance company to pay and settle an insurance claim. Provided damage is worth filing a claim?


Use your insurance. I know that there is a deductable so use the deposit to pay the deductible and sue the tenant for the amount. One more reason that condos don’t work.