Balcony leak caused by a birds nest

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    Balcony leak caused by a birds nest

    First post. Please go easy folks.

    Recently I awoke to a loud, rapid tapping noise. It turned out to be a leak in a bedroom from the flat above. The small balcony above had a birds nest over a drain and water had risen up in the small area, deep enough to rise over the flashing and was pouring into my ceiling, down the plaster coving and the wall to the floor. This was the middle of the night and the leak was stopped after I woke the tenant above. There are several cracks and staining of the affected area and some electrical equipment directly under the main ceiling drip has been soaked.

    My initial contact with the management agent was that it is a buildings insurance issue and the necessary forms have been sent out for the claim. If this is the case who pays the excess fees. Are they split or do I bare these?

    The second issue is that I was advised that I would be responsible for the damaged electrical equipment and must claim on my contents insurance which seems unfair.

    The intial contact with the tenants renting the flat above was that was that he would claim on his insurance if needs be.

    Finally 18 months ago there was a leak from the flat above’s washing machine which damaged my bathroom. I had that all repainted out my own pocket as nothing was done about it. I have photos and videos time stamped in my camera roll. Is that too long ago to do anything about.

    In total there’s been 4 leaks from the flat over the years. All under the current flat owners tenure. The first two were sorted by him to an unimpressive standard where the leaks still showed through the new paint. I’ve since redecorated those myself to a good standard.

    frustrating!

    Any and all advice would be great.


    #2
    You are lucky. The flat above did not need to compensate you for the washing machine leak at all. Only damage from the birds nest that happens after the relevant person was notified of the problem is their responsibility.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
      You are lucky. The flat above did not need to compensate you for the washing machine leak at all. Only damage from the birds nest that happens after the relevant person was notified of the problem is their responsibility.
      Lucky? They didn’t compensate me a penny. I’m confused. Why would they not be responsible? Sorry if this is something I should know about.

      Comment


        #4
        You said t"The first two were sorted by him to an unimpressive standard"); that is compensating you.

        People are only legally responsible to compensate you if they have been negligent, not just because they own the source of the problem. That means they have to have done something or left something undone to an extent significantly beyond that which reasonable person would do or leave undone. Alternatively, they have to have been made aware of a fault which is under their repairing responsibility and failed to have remedied within a reasonable amount of time.

        Have you read: https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...ays-the-excess ?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
          You said t"The first two were sorted by him to an unimpressive standard"); that is compensating you.

          People are only legally responsible to compensate you if they have been negligent, not just because they own the source of the problem. That means they have to have done something or left something undone to an extent significantly beyond that which reasonable person would do or leave undone. Alternatively, they have to have been made aware of a fault which is under their repairing responsibility and failed to have remedied within a reasonable amount of time.

          Have you read: https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...ays-the-excess ?
          Sorry I wasn’t clear. There have been 4 leaks in total. The washing machine instance is the 3rd one which hasn’t and the 4th is being dealt with by the managing agent.

          I have read the link you mentioned, thanks for that. The sentence ‘A reasonable standard of behaviour would be to check that couplings are tight as they routinely work loose and can result in a claim against you.’ was of particular interest. The tenant had literally only just moved in and used the washing machine when this 3rd leak happened. The flat had been empty for a year or Three prior. I’m guessing no checks were made prior to using it or if it was a newly installed machine that it was not plumbed in correctly.

          either way it’s obvious appropriate checks were not made.

          Comment


            #6
            Is it really "obvious appropriate checks were not made"?

            If you were experiencing repeated leaks that were clearly a result of a single issue, and the leaseholder and/or resident of the flat above had been informed of the problem but not taken appropriate action, you might have a chance of arguing negligence, but if the leaks are a result of unconnected problems you will find it very difficult to argue that there has been negligence.

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              #7
              No but if you are renting out your property that has been vacant for two years then surely you should be checking your appliances are ok. Why should I pay for damage caused by them. Surely their insurance should be paying out? It’s only fair.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Dazvader View Post
                Why should I pay for damage caused by them. Surely their insurance should be paying out? It’s only fair.
                Their insurance won't pay out for damage to your property, so that's a non-starter.

                You insure your property and goods because these things happen, particularly in flats.

                There's a grey area here, because the issue is that the person upstairs would only be liable for losses caused by their negligence, but there do seem to be a lot of leaks (so the total period of time might be an issue)

                If the property was empty, the owner was responsible for the first two leaks (if I've understood the sequence of events) and two leaks over a reasonable period isn't necessarily negligence unless the two were connected in some way.

                If the property then had a tenant move in, the tenant would probably be responsible for the washing machine leak, but proving that they were negligent would be next to impossible in practice.

                The birds nest sounds impossible to predict and, again, you'd have to show they were negligent in some way. If it happens again, you might have a chance.

                The issue isn't about who caused the issue, because the chances are no one caused the issue, they were just infortunate and it happened despite their best efforts, and it, unfortunately, affected you.

                When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for the clarity!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It’s been claimed on buildings insurance. I have to pay an excess however I thought the excess should be shared between all flats. Anyone know if that’s correct?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Generally it is the person who would have to pay for the work if there were no insurance that gets to pay the excess.

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