Water-damaged carpet; against whom should I claim?

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  • Water-damaged carpet; against whom should I claim?

    Hoping someone can give some advice on this.

    A few days ago, my flat suffered a major water leak and damaged not only my carpet but also the carpet of the person who lives in the flat below. They told me that the structural damage will be covered by their buildings insurance but meeting the cost of a new carpet will be my responsibility.
    What I want to know is how do I go about finding out how much to pay for the replacement?
    Presumably I only need pay for a replacement that is of a similar quality and make but is there anything else I should be asking or steps I should be taking?

    Also, this person's electricity supply went off as a result of the leak I think. He wants me to pay the electrician bill but as it is a block of flats, surely the electricity supply should be covered by the service charge?

    Any advice welcome!!

  • #2
    As they are happy to refer to the insurance company you could agree to pay the excess their (contents) insurance for the new carpet - arguable a cheaper option for you

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by fallenlord View Post
      As they are happy to refer to the insurance company you could agree to pay the excess their (contents) insurance for the new carpet - arguable a cheaper option for you

      I wouldn't!!!!

      In you agree now to pay there excess then you will be admitting liability and there insurers and possible the buildings insurers could come after you for the total outlay.

      If you have your own insurance check to see if you have liability cover, if so contact them.
      If not, then sit tight and await correspondence.

      In order for the lower floor flat or the insurers to claim off of you, they will have to prove that you were negligent in someway.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Colincbayley View Post
        I wouldn't!!!!

        In you agree now to pay there excess then you will be admitting liability and there insurers and possible the buildings insurers could come after you for the total outlay.

        If you have your own insurance check to see if you have liability cover, if so contact them.
        If not, then sit tight and await correspondence.

        In order for the lower floor flat or the insurers to claim off of you, they will have to prove that you were negligent in someway.
        But .... (1)Madison is not denying liability here, and seems happy to pay towards resolving the problem.

        (2) Madison already has an acknowledgment from the neighbours that their building insurance will cover the structural damage (good to get this in writing though)

        (3) paying the neighbours excess wont affect Madisons premium and will certainly be a cheaper alternative than paying for a whole new carpet

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        • #5
          Originally posted by fallenlord View Post
          But .... (1)Madison is not denying liability here, and seems happy to pay towards resolving the problem.

          (2) Madison already has an acknowledgment from the neighbours that their building insurance will cover the structural damage (good to get this in writing though)

          (3) paying the neighbours excess wont affect Madisons premium and will certainly be a cheaper alternative than paying for a whole new carpet
          You seem to have missed the point.

          The neighbours insurers may well pay out of the damage, but they would then be well within their rights to pursue the person liable for the damage.
          ( Try looking at it this way, if you have comprehensive car insurance and are hit by another driver, your insurers will pay for the repairs to your vehicle then pursue the other party for their outlay! )

          Never, never admit liabilty either in writing, verbal or by making a small payment as you could leave yourself wide open for further costs.

          Comment


          • #6
            We get this situation come up all the time at work (landlords insurance broker), here's the lowdown...

            2 flats (one above the other), upstairs have an incident such as a water leak which causes damage to the flat below. Downstairs flat now want damage repaired by upstairs flat.

            Your insurance (upstairs flat) only cover damage to your property. You will probably have liability cover included on your policy but this is only if you can be proved to be legally negligent. In this scenario, the only way you can be legally negligent is if the downstairs flat owner "officially" warned you that you have a leak (or something that may cause a potential leak) that could damage their flat, you ignored this warning and then it went and happened. There is almost no chance of this as by the time a leak is discovered, the damage has been caused. This is therefore classed as an accident and not your fault.

            The downstairs flat's only option is to claim off their own insurance and pay their excess. Do not offer to pay their excess as (which was mentioned earlier) you are basically saying you are legally negligable which you are not. Downstairs flat will not be happy but this is how it is. If they moan at you simply tell the downstairs owner to speak to their insurer for advice. They should confirm all of the above and then you hopefully won't hear anymore of it.

            As a flat owner you have different risks. A ground floor flat has the risk of something happening in the upstairs flat that damages them below. Likewise, an upstairs flat may suffer the consequences of a leak in the roof that will damage them but not downstairs. Insurance is there for a claim not blame
            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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            • #7
              Do you own the flat?? Do you live in it??

              Surely, if you're the tenant then the LL is responsible for all repairs and payments? LTA 1985 s11 (I've been reading up!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Skengland View Post
                Do you own the flat?? Do you live in it??

                Surely, if you're the tenant then the LL is responsible for all repairs and payments? LTA 1985 s11 (I've been reading up!!
                That's not what s.11 says. L is responsible for - chiefly - mains supply installations and the building's structure (not "all repairs and payments").
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                • #9
                  Sorry, I was a bit sweeping in that statement.

                  But as tenant they would not be responsible for paying for the water pipe repair (a mains supply installation??) or for replacement carpets/ redecoration?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Skengland View Post
                    Sorry, I was a bit sweeping in that statement.

                    But as tenant they would not be responsible for paying for the water pipe repair (a mains supply installation??) or for replacement carpets/ redecoration?
                    Water pipe: L is responsible. Section 11 includes "...the installations in the dwellinghouse for the supply of water..."
                    Where the 'house' is in fact a flat etc., s.11(1A) extends:
                    a. "dwellinghouse" to "any part of the building in which the lessor has an estate or interest" and
                    b. "installations" to any "which, directly or indirectly, serves the dwellinghouse and which either forms part of [as above] or is owned by the lessor or under his control."

                    Carpets/decorations: T is responsible.

                    Exclusion: under s.11(2), L is not responsible for works or repairs for things which T has a duty to use in a tenant-like manner.
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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                    • #11
                      Thanks for the clarification.

                      BUT: If carpet/ walls are damaged by the water leak L pays for replacements?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Skengland View Post
                        Thanks for the clarification.

                        BUT: If carpet/ walls are damaged by the water leak L pays for replacements?
                        Carpets aren't structure. They are contents, if anything. They're T's job*.

                        Walls are structure. Structural repair is L's job.
                        Decor of walls isn't structure. It's T's job*.

                        * = BUT damage consequential on an insured risk external to insured property might well be covered by property insurance policy.
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for clearing that up! I hope it helps the OP too!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Many thanks for the advice.
                            I am going to stand firm and tell them to claim on their own contents insurance. I don't know if they have it but I guess if they don't, that is their bad luck. I can't be responsible for paying everyone else's costs. The water leak definitely wasnt as a result of negligence, the pipe suddenly burst and I did everything in my power to get it fixed asap.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Question (for Ashburnam): In Flat you usually have a block policy, so it will be the same insurer. So what happens in that case?

                              The example you have given is probably in Leasehold flats were you have two different insurers for upstairs & downstairs.

                              Comment

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