Leak in leasehold apartment - very concerned

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    Leak in leasehold apartment - very concerned

    Hi,

    My husband and I have a leasehold one-bed flat which we rent out. It's in a bloc of flats and we pay a hefty service charge and ground rent for it. We are quite inexperience in this, being the first time we rent a property out.

    We have recently heard through the owner of the neighbouring flat that there's a leak from our bathroom into his flat. We've repaired that and decorated the affected area in his apartment. The issue is, the leak seems to have happened for a long time and his floor needs ripping out and replacing too. We thought the leak came from our shower but I suppose we now wonder if it could come from the toilet or elsewhere, or indeed from another flat altogether.

    Whose responsibility is it to pay for this? We are desperate to get it sorted and my husband has already booked a joiner, but shouldn't this be covered through our ground rent/service charge?

    Finally - and please be gentle - we have no buildings insurance. This is because when it was due to be renewed, the company (Churchill) insisted that if we paid service charge,etc, then we couldn't take additional buildings cover. If there was ever to be a claim, Churchill would not cover it as it'd be the building's freehold owner responsibility. I realise I should have perhaps seeked professional advice, but I didn't. Keeping this in mind can you please give me your best advice.

    Thanks

    #2
    If your lease doesn't make provision fro insurance, it is defective.

    Normally the freeholder insures the building and recovers the premiums from the leaseholders. YOu should confirm this, by reading your lease, and then ask for details of the insurance and claims process.

    Who is ultimately responsible for the cost or or excess will depend both on the wording of the lease, and on whether there was any negligence involved.

    Did your tenant report when the first symptom appeared?

    Was it reasonable to expect the resident of the flat above to know about it before then?

    Where steps taken, immediately, once they were aware?

    Who would be responsible for paying the costs of repairing general wear and tear, for the items damaged?

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      #3
      Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Our tenant never noticed the leak until her next door neighbour alerted her to the damage in his property. We have been on board straight away. There's actually not much damage to our property at all, to be honest and since we heard we contacted the maintenance team and so on. Only yesterday, when our next door neighbor lifted some of his laminate floor, it became apparent that the damage was really significant.

      I have just emailed the maintenance team this morning requesting a copy of their buildings insurance and urging them to start the repairs as soon as possible. The damage to his floor is apparently very, very extensive and the situation is hugely concerning.

      Thanks.

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