May 31, 2024 at 8:15 am

Their Downstairs Neighbor Is Trying To Overcharge Them for A Small Repair, But They’re Refusing To Pay Up

by Matthew Gilligan

Source: Reddit/Unsplash

Are you sure you’re a contractor, sir?

Anytime you hear that phrase uttered, you know it’s probably not a good thing… And this person wasn’t falling for it!

Did they do anything wrong? Let’s see what’s going on here…

AITA for not paying a “contractor” I did not hire?

“A month ago I purchased a condo to live in with my partner. There is a unit below us (with the same layout) that the owner rents out.

Our place sat empty on the market for four months.

The place beneath us sat empty (while the owner and his third party management company found a renter) for six months. The downstairs neighbor (a renter) moved in about ten days after we did.

Well, this is weird…

While she was moving in, we were renovating our kitchen.

She came upstairs and told us to shut off our water as we had hit a pipe and we’re flooding her place.

There was no drywall where we were working. We could see all of the pipes – none were hit.

She left and we didn’t turn off the water.

About an hour later she came to our door with a “plumber”. He agreed that we did not cause the damage.

Turns out the hot water stem on the washer was leaking – and had indeed caused a leak to her unit.

This leak started (presumably) while both units were sitting empty.

We called our home inspection company (because they had missed this leak and our contract states they were liable).

They sent out a professional plumber and the leak was solved.

Meanwhile, she needed a new sheet of drywall in her laundry room.

The damaged area was maybe 2’x2’ but the decision was made to replace the entire sheet rather than patchwork.

Let’s get it figured out.

We told our downstairs neighbor to get some quotes and provide us with the contact information from the owner or management company, while we contacted our HOA to see how the declarations say this responsibility is split.

We were capable of making this fix ourselves, but didn’t as she said she wanted a licensed contractor.

About two weeks later, she comes knocking again with that same “plumber” and an invoice for $450.

This invoice says that he spent $90 on materials and that it was a 12 hour job.

Oh, really?

Having just replaced the drywall in our kitchen for $50, we saw some red flags and decided to call the management company for the unit and the HOA again.

Then the truth came out.

The “plumber/contractor” who found the leak and replaced her drywall is a buddy of the owner. He is not a licensed contractor and (according to the HOA declarations) is charging us for work we are not responsible for.

At this point in time, the HOA and management company have determined that we are not responsible for this invoice.

But, the owner’s buddy/“contractor” still did work.

We haven’t seen it, but it’s to the satisfaction of the owner. We could just pay him and let this mediation fizzle out.


Here’s how Reddit users reacted.

This reader said they’re NTA.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another individual said what we’re all thinking…

Source: Reddit/AITA

This Reddit user spoke up.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Another person said they’re NTA.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And this person had quite a bit to say.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Sounds like a scam to me…

But I’ve been wrong before.

If you liked that post, check out this one about an employee that got revenge on HR when they refused to reimburse his travel.