HELP- Common wall has signs of leaked water.

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  • HELP- Common wall has signs of leaked water.

    Hello all
    I am new and although my question may have been posted i really need some guidance.

    I am a leaseholder of a ground floor flat and i have a wall in kitchen which is common with our neighbors. He is renting his flat.

    Recently my neighbor alerted me that his side of the wall was showing signs of damp. He came over to check my side but it was not evident as i have a wooden stud before the wall. His letting agent came around to check and said it was rising damp. I called in the managing agent who disputed his fact and said it was result of water pipe leak somewhere and has asked the landlord to investigate.

    The managing agent said that this is a dispute between two leaseholders and should be sorted out amongst us and has nothing to do with the building.

    Firstly, am i correct to say that a claim cannot be made on the common building insurance which is paid through our service charges?

    secondly - where do i stand here? Can i make a claim against the landlord and claim it through his landlord or contents insurance? Mind you the common wall has been damaged and not any of my contents.

    Thirdly If i can claim through the landlord insurance how does the procedure work?

    Finally Do i have to inform my insurance co?

    If anyone can answer my question, i shall be grateful and would return the favour of my experience to whoever needs it.

  • #2
    Damp IS NOT normally an insurance claimable peril as it is a gradually operating cause. Any damp would be classed as a maintenance issue and your lease should declare who is responsible for such maintenance. Whoever this is will be responsible for sorting this issue out on their side of the wall and vice versa for the other side - potentially coming together to share the costs of the job.

    If it is a leaking pipe then this becomes Escape of Water which IS normally an insured peril. The pipe itself would not normally be covered if just leaking (once again a maintenance issue and person responsible for maintenance of such pipe would need to repair it at their cost) but the resultant water damage should be covered. If the pipe has burst due to a specific event then the pipe may also be covered but I think you would be seeing a lot more water if this was the case.

    You say that no contents has been damaged so if it is a leaking pipe then any buildings damaged can be claimed on the buildings insurance in place. If your neighbour is on a separate insurance policy then you would both have to claim separately regardless of whose pipe it was leaking with each each paying their own excess, etc. It would be best to advise each insurer of the neighbour's insurance details in case they need to liase with each other with regards to any common parts of the claim that they would share the costs of.
    Steve Smith - Company Director at a leading Landlord Insurance broker with 17+ years experience in the industry
    LandlordZONE Verified Poster and Topic Expert for Landlords Insurance since 2009
    See my profile for contact details


    • #3

      Interesting answer, perhaps you could help with my similar issue?

      I represent the freeholder, but am involved in trying to resolve a problem as follows:

      Flat X seems to have some sort of water leak (gradual, not "burst" which may be relevant...), which is affecting both his flat as well as Flat Y. Having had a look (yet to be confirmed) it seems almost certain that the problem is on *his* side of the property, i.e. from his "Conduits" as defined in the lease and not the freehold common ones. On that basis you might expect it's his problem to sort out, nothing to do with freeholder....

      ...however, the lease obliges the freeholder to insure the "Block" (which is defined as everything, including leaseholders' properties) against all the usual stuff including "burst pipes" on one interpretation you could argue that, if this is a "burst pipe" then no matter where it is it should be covered by the freeholder. This would seem perverse, but I am sure some lawyer could argue that way?!

      Then of course, there is the question of what is a "burst pipe", i.e. as opposed to a leak! Common sense would say it has to be a catastrophic waterfall-type event, but then lawyers may argue differently...but interested that you make that differentiation in your post?

      Look forward to hearing from you



      • #4
        Issues with pipes are certainly a confusing matter!

        I can't comment on freeholder/leaseholder responsibilities as this is not my area of expertise but in terms of insurance there are definitely two types of pipe issue.

        Leaking pipe - This is something that develops over a period of time due to age of the pipe or wear and tear. Normally anything that has a gradually operating cause is a maintenance issue and is not usually covered by any insurance.

        Burst pipe - This is something that happens as a specific event and bears no relation to any maintenance issues. As with any insurance claim, there is a specific time and date that the incident occurred. Think of it like banging a nail through the wall into a pipe and causing it to burst (this example would be classed as an accidental damage claim).
        Steve Smith - Company Director at a leading Landlord Insurance broker with 17+ 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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