DOB vs Insurance vs Just Do It



    Our neighbor has an obvious violation in regards to his roof drainage (short of it all- it’s draining into our building). This has been causing us a myriad of problems and damage (to all our building units), thus far covered by our individual homeowners policies. No damage has occurred to the exterior of our building, so our building’s insurance will not get involved.

    We’ve informed the owner of the issue repeatedly, basically he’s never going to fix it. He does not live in the building.

    A roofer that we trust has told us to just fix it at our expense (around 2k), as getting the city to force compliance with building code will take forever.

    While we know this may be true, it’s also true that the roofer wants to earn an income.

    Does anyone have any experience with getting DOB to force compliance with the law? How long does it typically take? Is there a better route than filing 311 complaints?

    Are we better off paying for the repair and going to small claims court?

    Or, should we just bite the bullet, pay for the repair and call it a day?

    Thanks in advance.


    1. I hate to say this, but DOB will not gain access and it will just be another sore spot between you and your neighbor – not that it matters much at this point, right?

      Also, unless this is a problem for the owner, he has no real incentive to fix it.

      I had the same thing happen to me. I called DOB, they posted their notice, but nothing ever came of it. I was up there on the roof during heavy rains, draining the water off of his roof with tubing so that it did not go onto mine.

      He recently fixed and re-roofed, but I doubt it was due to the DOB notice.

      Bottom line – he is causing you and your insurance company a lot of money and you a lot of time. Why not redirect those costs back onto the owner (who will do nothing) by redirecting that water somewhere onto (or into?) his property? I mean, anything short of drilling a hole into his roof…

      Affecting them in the pocketbook usually gets their notice and gets them to fix their problems.