The broken pipe, city of flint, crappy insurance, no money blues.... - Chevy Impala Forums

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Old 11-06-2008, 08:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The broken water main pipe, city of flint, crappy insurance, no money blues....

So I bought this old shell of a building that was formerly a church and halfway converted into a duplex. I worked on it diligently for several months before learning the hard way it was haunted as hell, and became too chicken shit to go over there after that during the day and never in the dark. After having it set for about a year, I decided that I needed to get serious and brought in a GC to redo the whole place. Not a doosh of paint, a full redo. Floors, walls, ceilings, roof, windows, the whole 9. I over extended myself by a large order of magnitude doing so, but the mindset was to have a building that would need MINMAL maintenance for YEARS.

We wrapped things up and I moved people in and endured the usual occasional drama that follows when two groups of assholes share a roof, except there was a smell.

Fast forward 2 months - we learn that the main water line to the house that comes UP from underground under apartment 1 is leaking. The fun part is that the path the water took was to fill up the crawlspace of apartment 2 with water. Stangnant water = smell.

BOTH tennants have elected to NOT put up with any repair crews being there and have moved out. My insurance claims that they only insure the structure and damage to the structure, but nothing more - so they'll pay to remove the bathroom floor to get to the dirt that's on top of the pipe, but not the actual removal of the dirt to access it, etc.

The city says the pipe is THEIR property that happens to run THROUGH mine, and THEY are the only people allowed to touch it once I have cleared access for them to do so. Furthermore, they almost never repair a service line. Their policy is to always replace it via a 5 foot deep trench that I'm responsible to provide via a GC - I'm not allowed to dig the trench myself, and since the yard isn't structure, insurance doesn't cover that part either. Oh, and since it was a church - the "yard" is all ashphalt.

The whole situation is horse shit, I'm losing my ass, insurance doesn't cover thousands of dollars of costs that I don't have, and my ass hurts.

Thank you for your time,
Bewber.

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Old 11-06-2008, 08:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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That sucks Bewber!! I dont have any words of wisdom as I don't get into that kind of property management/rental stuff as I have seen friends loose lots of personal time and money without a lot of positive return. Good luck mang!!

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Old 11-06-2008, 08:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What's a durning?

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Old 11-06-2008, 09:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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What's a Lottimago?

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Old 11-06-2008, 09:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That's hooey. I'd be working very hard to make the city pay for accessing the pipe, fixing the pipe, and repairing everything they busted up to get there. Hell, I think they owe you for the rent you're not getting right now because of this. Go for the kill!

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Old 11-06-2008, 09:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That's hooey. I'd be working very hard to make the city pay for accessing the pipe, fixing the pipe, and repairing everything they busted up to get there. Hell, I think they owe you for the rent you're not getting right now because of this. Go for the kill!
You are correct sir - it IS "hooey" of the highest order.

I already spoke with my agent about lost rents, and he said hes never seen it approved for a deal like this - only if it's a long term deal with an absolute cause, like a fire or something.

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Old 11-06-2008, 09:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't see this as something your insurance company should need to be very involved with anyway. The city owns a water line that is ruining your building. Maybe it already has. Mold? Structural damage? Health concerns? Make them buy the building back from you. Take it to the "Problem Solvers" on TV (have your wife do the talking). Compile evidence. Sue them if you have to. Don't let them get off. Cities pay for this kind of stuff all the time.

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Old 11-06-2008, 09:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The problem with cities is...they get to make laws. Sucks man. Good luck sorting this one out. The responsibility often falls to you up to the property line, the city from there out. In New Haven, we have a water company and that's how it works. They actually encourage you to buy "pipe safe" insurance for exactly this. I keep meaning to do that... It does sound like the insurance company's position regarding removal of dirt is BS. That's part of the repair job. In fact, the whole thing is part of the repair job it seems to me. You might see if your insurance company has an ombudsman or something similar. This isn't the kind of thing your agent is going to be too effective on, I would guess, but there may be somebody at the company that is supposed to act as a customer advocate type. That can be helpful sometimes. My only other thought is to talk to your elected representative. Again, in New Haven, we have an alderman for the various wards. This is the kind of thing they hear about all the time. You might have something similar.

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Old 11-06-2008, 10:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It's the claims adjuster giving me the lowdown on the details of my policy - not my agent - who is wicked cool and has had my back before.

The dirt thing sounds like BS, and he knows it, but his point is just that "dirt removal" isn't covered. To them a couple feet worth under the house is no different legally than digging up the whole yard - and once he OKs one thing - that opens the door for the rest, and we don't know what the rest really is yet.

The adjuster is being very cool too and is actually also doing all he can on my behalf as well, including agreeing to pay me to pump the water out of the crawlspace as part of minimizing the damage.

Either way, I'm pretty fucked on the deal no matter what happens.

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Old 11-06-2008, 11:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I meet with a plumbing company who specializes in running this new line today at about 5. He said that he's never been paid by a city or by an insurance company, and it's usually at least about $1,500.

So - to both of you reading this, wish me luck.

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Old 11-06-2008, 11:35 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I read it. Good luck.

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Old 11-06-2008, 12:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Bewber's chickens!...


are coming home!...


to roost!

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Old 11-06-2008, 12:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Damn... that sucks.

On a residental rental prop that my parents own, there was a blockage in the sewer line. Being that it's 50+ years old, I told my parents to do it right and replace the whole pipe to the street. We found out that the pipe runs through the neighbors property and then needed a bunch of permits to get this going.

The tenants were pretty cool about the situation, especially not having water or bathroom facilities for a few DAYS! After discussing the alternatives and taking into consideration the tenants, I told them remove the blockage and patch up the pipe and deal with the whole sewage pipe at a later date... when there are no tenants. The plumber said the patch would work fine but couldn't guarantee the condition of the rest of it. It's been a few years now and so far so good.

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Old 11-06-2008, 01:07 PM   #15 (permalink)
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^^^ LOL!

Oh man, I remember the circumstances of that pic, Noel! Greatness.

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