Are there guidelines to determine compensation for loss of use of property?
Question Details: Due to a water leak on city property our home was damaged and we have been without the use of our basement for about four months. The back and forth leading up to repairs starting took almost 2 years. We are now at the point of ending this all up and I was wondering if compensation for loss of use and all the frustration of dealing with this for so long was appropriate and, if so, how to determine a fair amount?
There is no compensation for frustration or your own time and effort, unfortunately: those are not things for which the law provides frustration.
You may be able to receive compensation for loss of use of the space. There are no hard-and-fast rules for this--it depends on what you can show that value to be. First, you'd have to show you used the basement--i.e. if it was basically just empty space you never did anything with, you suffered no loss and are entitled to no compensation. Then if you used it, *how* did you use it? Just storage? In that case you might be able to sue for the cost of the offsite or self-storage facility you had to rent to keep your belongings in. Fully furnished and your family room or den, which your family used all the time? Then you might be able to get the equivalent of the per square foot rental, for the number of square feet in issue, for residential space like that in your area, for the period of time use was impaired. It really is very fact- and situation-dependent.