Landlords and snow
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  1. #1
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    Default Landlords and snow

    Well, I hope you had a happy Valentine's Day. Mine was a bit less cheerful

    At 5:30 yesterday morning I got a phone call from my neighbor at the industrial park I rent from.
    The building had collapsed at about 4:30 in the morning from the incredible weight of snow and ice on the roof. It was a mid 70s pre-fab building with no central columns. The nightshift guy heard cracking and groaning sounds, saw a light drop from the ceiling and bolted for the fire exit. Literally, he got about 2 steps over the threshold when the roof came slamming down.

    There were three machine shops in that building. Mine, my neighbor, and the guy at the end. Total combined worth of them all? Somewhere around $15 mil. I had no catastrophic insurance, my machines had been paid for for years. The other guys did.

    The landlord's insurance company told me "sorry, we don't cover interior stuff". My attorney said "oh yes you do." I can see what's going to happen.

    In the meantime, my Mori Seiki, Okuma, and P&W are sitting in a trashed building with no heat, and missing walls.

    Two other attorneys and a landlord have told me that eventually the landlord's liability will pay, but it will take months. At least.

    It could've been worse. I usually work there in the wee hours. I happened to finish early and was home.

    Attachment 99656

    Other small benefit - just a week ago, I took my college diploma and awards off of the office wall and brought them home.

  2. #2
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    it sucks but at least noone is buried aliave in the mess, especially you... even if you had renters insurance I am sure you would be getting the letter soon claiming you policy is not allowed to make claims for business purposes, but your collection of beenie babies would be cover in full at a nickel a piece...

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  4. #3
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    Ouch. That's not cool. Hope you get your check sooner then later.

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    If the three different attorneys have all read your lease agreement think you will collect, you might.
    I'd wonder about the limits on the landlords policy.
    Do you know yet how much damage your machines have?
    Sorry and Good Luck
    David

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    Crappy situation.
    This snow and ice thing catches a lot of people/businesses each year.
    Weak buildings and people not shoveling the snow off, this is the result.
    Nobody thinks about the structural integrity of a building when looking for a space, sometimes paying a bit more is well worth it.

    Good luck sorting it out with the insurance and excavator eh.

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  8. #6
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    Wow

    again , lucky no one was hurt


    are you able to survey the damage?

    I would be concerned with getting the undamaged stuff out, the little stuff will bleed you dry

    figure even a building can't crush a Kurt vise...........

  9. #7
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    this is a loss for all, don't forget to consider that. If the landlord has been good/fair to you all these years then treat him right. If he's been a jerk, then might want to consider another place as soon as you can salvage what is left in there.

    I just hope the landlord was good and fair in the past and you can all get together and make a plan on what you would ideally like to see replace it and then implement the plan as soon as possible. Getting together with lawyers wouldn't be the first thing on my mind.

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  11. #8
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    Sorry to hear about this. It sucks. I'm about an hour away, if one person can be of help in any way, feel free to ask me. I have a couple trailers rated for 7000 lbs. each and a fairly strong back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David J. View Post
    If the three different attorneys have all read your lease agreement think you will collect, you might.
    I'd wonder about the limits on the landlords policy.
    Do you know yet how much damage your machines have?
    Sorry and Good Luck
    David
    Seems like you could very easily be stuck between what the landlords lease says he owes you and what his policy with his insurance was written for. In that case I'd guess you'd have to squeeze him for every nickle.

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  14. #10
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    Doesn't look like much snow... Is that a wood frame building?

    You should have had insurance. You took a risk. This is what can happen.

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  16. #11
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    Doug,

    Sorry to see the damage you sustained. We have a building near us that looks just like the picture that you posted. After seeing it I decided to spend some time with a roof rake pulling snow off of the roofs that we own. Three days later and lots of sore muscles they are mostly clear of snow.

    Best of luck to you. Hopefully you can salvage most everything in there.

    Big B

  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerglider View Post
    this is a loss for all, don't forget to consider that. If the landlord has been good/fair to you all these years then treat him right. If he's been a jerk, then might want to consider another place as soon as you can salvage what is left in there.

    I just hope the landlord was good and fair in the past and you can all get together and make a plan on what you would ideally like to see replace it and then implement the plan as soon as possible. Getting together with lawyers wouldn't be the first thing on my mind.
    I'm in NY and any way I can help just let me know. Me and the guys could help salvage and reorganize with you if you want or need hands.

    I agree with powerglider. Plan what you "ideally" want to do and take it from there. My oldman always said Lawyers are there to tell you how to do what you want done. Not what to do.

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  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DouglasJRizzo View Post
    Other small benefit - just a week ago, I took my college diploma and awards off of the office wall and brought them home.
    What a coincidence, I just got my "Sucessfully Completed Remedial Anger Management" certificate framed and hung in my office.

    Hey -very glad no one was hurt

  20. #14
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    THAT LITTTLE BIT of snow brought that tin shack down??? I think you better start taking all the photos you can if you havent already....and get as many newspapers that reported the storm and you can.

    As for insur... looking at that tin shack, do you really think the owner has any insur?? I'd bet dollars to donuts he has NONE...zip, nada.... Lets spose he has "some kind of insur"... what do you think he'd have???
    Maybe, general liability to protect him if someone gets injured on the landlords property, ie, the mail man trips and falls and breaks a leg...... but thats not going to insure YOUR PROPERTY... THATs YOUR JOB


    What to do NOW...
    Get all YOUR stuff out of there NOW.. and protected from rusting and stored in a rented storage unit..It's valuable stuff, right????
    Things you can not remove, get plenty of WD40 or better, maybe a slushing oil used to protect equipment stored outside... and then cover what you can with tarps... If it comes to a court case You will have to show that you tried to save the stuff...

    Good luck

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    I fail to see how the landlord's insurance pays for the stuff inside. It's no different than a fire. He has insurance for the structure, not the contents.

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    This is not a good thing. Most of your machinery probably isn't damaged but it will be if you let it sit in there. Move it ASAP. If you don't have insurance just figure you won't get anything and savage what you can. If some day you get some money great but don't count on it.

    GOOD LUCK

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  26. #17
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    I am sure insurance is different from state to state but here I have to have insurance on my own contents. We are in a steel building that is subdivided into bays. My insurance covers my contents and offers additional coverage for my neighbors in case a fire would start in my bay and damage his equipment. As for the building the landlord has his own insurance to cover that but once again my insurance has a rider for damage to his building if it was my fault. That is what insurance is for, if you dont have it then you are on your own and I wouldnt expect the landlord to offer you anything. I mean how would his insurance know what your equipment was worth? Even if he had insurance on contents he might only have $20k worth and of course in addition to several million dollars of machines you also have that Picasso that got destroyed right?

    Some insurance policies will also offer you coverage for lost income during times like this where you cannot use your equipment. As well as any of your customers equipment or material you might have stored there. I dont think your landlord would have any coverage for that, so why would he offer coverage for your contents? I cant see how that could possibly work? But each state has different rules, I hope it works out for you ok.


    Charles

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  28. #18
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    I agree with the guys above... I know if there's really 15mil of stuff in there. I'd give them 2-3 days to sort out the insurance situation and to take the pictures they need, while looking for another place that isn't built like a trailer home... and lining up a couple cranes and excavators to get that roof off before it thaws.

    Unless the goal here is to hope that everybody gets new machines out of it.... but that's unlikely.

  29. #19
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    Was that layer of snow, seen in your picture, just snow or was there a layer of ice also? IF only snow that is really a small amount of weight.

  30. #20
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    We rented a place years ago. The awning fell off the building and into the parking lot.

    Landlords insurance co "act of god, sorry"

    After much fighting either the ins co or landlord paid off the employee.


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