Upstairs left taps on ... leak downstairs

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    Upstairs left taps on ... leak downstairs

    There was major incident in the area and the water company was working to repair it. There was with little or no water coming. The upstairs (tenant or owner), left the tap on and then went out. The water company fixed the water. The water started to gush out and flooded my rental flat. The Police broke into his flat to stop the water.

    I claimed off the insurance for water damage, but they will not cover the carpet. My excess is £250.

    What is my legal position?

    As others will no doubt be along to tell you soon you suck it up.

    The upstairs tenant/owner can destroy your whole flat causing you 100K of damage and there is stuff all you can do about it unless they did it deliberately (beyond claiming on your own insurance if you have any -- and once you claim once for a water related claim you will be uninsurable thereafter anyway). The law needs a major re-haul but that is the way it is. The stance of insurers may not reflect the legal position but you will find out that it effectively works that way.

    There is absolutely no incentive to behave with care, or to look after plumbing properly in flats - because lack of maintenance is apparently an act of god.


      Lack of maintenance for plumbing would be an act of chance/god.
      Who "maintains" plumbing?

      Leaving a tap open and then going out isn't an act of chance, it's negligence.
      You should claim the cost of the carpet and the excess from the upstairs neighbour.

      The claim is in Tort, the upstairs neighbour owes you a duty of care, breached that because they were negligent and you suffered a direct loss as a consequence.
      I'd talk to them first, because if they don't want to pay, they need to understand that the claim will then include some legal fees, and if your solicitor chooses to take the case on a conditional basis (no win no fee), that could be a lot, because it doesn't sound like they have a leg to stand on.
      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).


        My sticky thread may help: Trying to sort this out directly with your neighbour amicably would probably be best but I appreciate this is not always the required route.

        If you have legal protection cover they could be your first call to see if they can assist. If not, then speak to your insurer to see if they are trying to recover the cost of your claim from your neighbour. If so, will they assist you in claiming your uninsured losses (carpet and excess)?
        Steve Smith - Company Director at a leading Landlord Insurance broker with 20+ years experience in the industry
        LandlordZONE Verified Poster and Topic Expert for Landlords Insurance since 2009
        See my profile for contact details


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