Yet another water leak question, shared block, contents excess ..

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    Yet another water leak question, shared block, contents excess ..

    Hi all ..

    I'm a director of a Residents management company which employs a property company. A situation has come up regarding a water leak and responsibility for paying the contents insurance excess of the property damaged.

    Three story block. Flat in the middle which has suffered damage from a leak in the shared soil stack. So no-ones fault or any negligence, the repair was made very quickly after being reported. The blocks buildings insurance paid for the 'building' repairs, pipe, walls, ceiling etc and the service charge will cover the excess. But the owners carpet was also damaged and so he claimed from his contents insurance and now expects his contents excess to be refunded from the service charge fund.

    The property company, after many emails now seem to agree with the owner and are advising the owner would probably have a case if taken to court. Which he's threatening to do.

    The lease has nothing useful to add, or clarify ..

    Reading a heap of threads on here and other sites it seems the legitimacy of the claim would come down to proving negligence. Which in this case I cant see any.

    My argument with paying the excess would be the precedent it sets for future claims, and having no say on the owners choice of excess, which they'd then expect the service charge to pay.

    Thoughts ?

    #2
    More importantly an owners choice not to have contents insurance.

    The owner made a commercial decision to not insure without an excess and bears that loss unless they can prove that there was an act omission or negligence, or a mix thereof.

    While the facts and circumstances always present a risk of a verdict in his favour, you should point out that the cost of defending the case will be on the service charge.
    Check your building insurance for legal expenses cover/advice (and your directors and officers indemnity policy) to miminse the effect of fees.
    Similarly a letter from the lawyers explaining the position might dissuade and be a sensible investment.
    You can also force arbitration under the lease if the clause if broad enough.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

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