Problem with Copropriete

Hello everyone, I would really appreciate your advice.

I received some very bad news in the mail yesterday and I do not know what to do. I am not in Paris at present, but will return in autumn.

I am a new flat owner (studio) in Paris. I live in Paris part of the year, I moved into my flat in March. I did renovations on the flat (put in a kitchen, new floor, paint) that were completed in April. I was in Paris until June.

The copropriete of my building had their meeting a few weeks ago, and I could not attend because I was not in France.

Yesterday I got in the mail a brief letter from the syndic saying that the work on my apartment had caused "degradation of the stairwell". No description of who complained, what the degradation is...nothing, just demanding my insurance information. I have no idea what they are talking about! I contacted the contractor, he said he had no idea either, and several friends who've been to the flat said they didn't know either as no one observed "degradation" to the stairwell!

I do not know the French system very well yet and so I do not know the proper thing to do. I am confused because there is nothing wrong with the stairwell, no one ever complained to me while I was there, and my flat was not the the only one being renovated, they were doing work above me for many months.

What would you do?

Really? How silly is that? I am learning the French ropes the hard way, I guess! This is painful and upsetting!

Par for the course, I'm afraid, Karin. They hope you'll just pay up without asking any questions.

Thank you Terry. I have drafted a letter asking for the details, as there were none in the letter. I think it is just very odd to accuse someone of something and not give them any details whatsoever. I do not even know what they are talking about, there was no damage to the stairwell, I was going up and down the stairs many times a day!

To start off, write to the syndic (recommandé avec accusé de réception) demanding details of the alleged degradation and proof that it is the work you carried out and not the work on the other flats that is the cause.