Neighbors and condo repair situation in Somerville, MA
May 21, 2014 9:50 AM Subscribe
My neighbor and I both live on the top floor of our condo building. He wants to fix his AC/heating system inside the shared attic, and is asking to use an attic entryway inside my apt. What can I do to protect myself in case his contractor damages my things? Please help. Thanks.
I want to be a good neighbor and tell him they can use the entryway in my apt, as long as (1) they don't break my own AC/furnace system up in the attic, and (2) they clean up after themselves. But I'm worried about what happens if the contractor causes any damage to my AC/heating system (also in the attic), my ceiling, or any part of my apt in general. What can I do to protect myself?
Details: Neighbor Bob and I live in the 2 units on the top floor of a 3-floor, 6-unit condo bldg. (Every unit is owned, no rentals.) Between our 2 units is a shared stairwell, and there is a small entryway into the shared attic at the top of this stairwell. Bob's contractor thinks the shared opening might be too small for the job, so they are asking to use a larger entryway that's located solely inside my apt. (There is no equivalent larger entryway inside Bob's apt.)
I could simply ask Bob and/or the contractor to promise to pay for any damages. But I'm wary, because recently I went through a costly situation with the condo neighbors with respect to fixing a commont element, in this case the shared roof underneath my apt's deck. We had talked about sharing the repair/rebuild costs, but I ended up paying a lot more because the deck was only for my apt - and we had only agreed verbally to share all costs. That was a learning experience.
So I'd like to avoid a sticky situation where I'm left holding the bag. Bob is a nice guy and the contractor might be a good guy too, but since any contract is between just the 2 of them, I would have no firm recourse if any damange occurred. What can I do? Is there something I can ask them about their contract that will guarantee they will pay for any damages? Thanks.