Construction defects range from improperly installed plumbing and tile to improperly installed windows and exterior...
The contractor, homeowner, or both may be able to be held liable when a neighbor’s home is damaged by the construction company’s work. One should not be made to bear the burden when a contractor that they do not hire causes them monetary harm. Who pays depends on a variety of factors including whether the contractor is insured, whether the homeowner is insured, and their coverage.
Someone Must Pay for the Damage
A homeowner has property rights, and one of them is not to have their home damaged when their neighbor has construction work completed. The neighbor must take care to hire the right contractor with a good reputation for safety. It is also the neighbor’s responsibility to ensure that the contractor is licensed and bonded. Otherwise, the neighbor would likely be on the hook for any damages that their contractor causes.
Presumably, the contractor carries adequate professional insurance to cover damages. This would be the first way to compensate the neighbor when something goes wrong. Licensing is a legal requirement in Nevada, but some disreputable contractors may cut corners. Handling a claim under these circumstances can be complicated because there may be numerous issues, including if the contractor’s insurance company tries to settle the claim for less than it is worth.
The Homeowner Is Ultimately Responsible
Legally, the homeowner who hires the contractor is responsible for what a construction company does on the job. It would be unfair to leave their neighbor in a financial hole for something that they could not control, done by someone who they did not hire. If the homeowner whose property was damaged cannot get the claim covered by the contractor’s insurance company, he or she could file a lawsuit against the neighbor. Moreover, if the neighbor has hired a shoddy contractor, he or she can also be made to pay when they do not have enough insurance. They could even be liable for negligent hiring.
One whose property has been damaged should meticulously document the harm. This includes taking pictures and contemporaneous notes about what happened. The homeowner should immediately inform the neighbor of what happened. If it looks like there is any reason why the damage would not be fully covered, the homeowner may be able to work with a construction defect attorney to potentially file a lawsuit against the neighbor and the contractor.