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Q&A: What if a home under construction damages a nearby property? | MyProperty.ph
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Q&A: What if a home under construction damages a nearby property?

by MyProperty.phPublished: February 16, 2017Updated: March 24, 2017

Is the construction next door to blame for damages to your home? Find out what you should do

What if a home under construction damages a nearby property MyProperty Philippines

 

Q: What if a home under construction damages a nearby property?

A: The continuous construction of real estate properties these days has led to the increase in urban density, so much so that property owners cannot help but build right next to another existing structure, forcing the neighboring property’s occupants to endure all the nuances that come with it. Even in residential neighborhoods, current residents have to deal with issues such as construction noises throughout the day or road blockages due to building materials or construction equipment occupying part of the street.

Sometimes, however, construction can cause more than slight auditory or traffic-related troubles. They can also lead to the destruction of nearby properties due to factors like falling debris. If this happens, who should take responsibility for the problem, and what can the wronged party do?

 

Who is accountable?

Atty. Jojo Perez, the founder and Chief Entrepreneurial Officer of Realttorney.com, believes that it depends on the agreement between the owner of the home being built and the contractor hired to do the work.

“In my opinion, the homeowner is responsible for the damage to a neighbor's property during a house construction EXCEPT when there is a contract between the homeowner and contractor that exempts the former from any liability or damage caused by the contractor to third party during the construction period,” he said.

“Typically, the contractor is an agent of the homeowner in cases of the construction of the house and other improvements on the property,” Perez explained. “This is the reason why the homeowner is responsible for any damage committed by the contractor during the period of construction.”

 

What should be done?

Assuming that the owner of the damaged property had no contributory negligence leading to the damage of the property in the first place, Perez said that he or she must take pictures of the damage that occurred for documentation purposes.

He or she must then meet with the contractor and/or the neighboring property’s owner to show the photos and  a letter explaining the situation and the desire to seek redress for the damage. At the meeting, the parties will discuss the possible ways to correct, restore, replace, or repair the damage caused in order to settle the situation amicably.

“The best form of settlement will be one where the contract or the owner of the property who hired the contractor will correct, restore, replace or repair the damage caused, at their own expense,” he shared, adding that “the common complication that happens is when there is a disagreement between the contractor and the owner who hired the contractor as to who will shoulder the expense required or necessary to appease the owner of the damaged property.”

If the issue is not settled and the owner of the damaged property would like to pursue the next step in seeking redress, Perez says a formal demand letter from a lawyer is needed.

 

This article was written in consultation with Atty. Jojo Perez, founder and Chief Entrepreneurial Officer of Realttorney.com, a platform that provides solutions to ownership problems.

 

Main photo via Shutterstock

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