Liability for leaking overflow.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Liability for leaking overflow.


    We have a flat on the top floor of a block of three. Apparently our overflow was leaking for a few months (we had no knowledge of this neither did our tenants). The managing agents were told in October by the ground floor tenants but in turn they failed to tell us, the landlords, until early December when we went straight round.

    In the interim, the ground floor flat is asking who is going to repair the damage caused to the windows due to the leak (it had apparently been leaking for months) but no one had reported it.

    Am I liable? I think it's harsh given we had no knowledge of it and therefore were not negligent. Is the managing Agent for sitting on it for the best part of three months?

    The ground floor could claim on the buildings insurance but are baulking at the £350 excess.

    Advice appreciated please.


    You aren't liable for anything unless your lease says that you are, or you were negligent.
    Most people don't accept this and assume that the upstairs owner is automatically liable.

    Here's a good summary from a specialist insurance broker -

    Things break, pipes leak.
    That's what insurance is for.

    Otherwise, the downstairs owner would have to show negligence and the negligence is clearly with the managing agent and that's who they should be claiming against, if anyone.
    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).


      Wow, thanks for the quick and comprehensive reply.

      Appreciate your help and as always with this forum. I may not post much but do lurk.




        At three months, I'd say that the negligence lies with the managing agent. If it had been six months, I would say the OP was also responsible, as they should have inspected the property in that time.


          I think the downstairs flat has some responsibility too. They also either didn't notice or didn't report it for months. Water damage to windows doesn't happen overnight. And when the MA didn't do anything they still didn't tell your tenant.


            Little update...

            Following your comments, I went back to the MA's and told them that the liability has to lie with the tenants on the ground floor or the MA's themselves for sitting on it.

            They have come back and said they'll do the repairs as part of the ongoing maintenance scheduled for this year so it appears they're going to fudge it and lose the work as part of a larger £30K decoration programme and ask the contractor to throw it in gratis.


            Latest Activity


            • 87 Years left on Lease - Cant buy freehold until 2 years?
              by pt888
              A property recently came back onto the market for the reason being that the previous buyer was unable to lend money from his bank due to the lease only having 87 years remaining, the estate agent therefore said that going forward only cash-buyers would be considered. Out of those cash buyers i was selected....
              28-01-2022, 20:38 PM
            • Reply to 87 Years left on Lease - Cant buy freehold until 2 years?
              by L4NDLORD
              If you have a solicitor ask him to download a copy of the lease from HM Land Registry, it will inform you of the rent payable etc. Costs about three quid, plus your solicitors time (ten minutes!)
              29-01-2022, 00:57 AM
            • Reply to 87 Years left on Lease - Cant buy freehold until 2 years?
              by L4NDLORD
              The city will probably insist you served notice and that they obtain a valuation for which you will almost certainly have to pay. Even so with 87 years unexpired its still not going to cost very much, a few thousand pounds. The solution to your question is to ask the seller to serve the notice on the...
              29-01-2022, 00:56 AM
            • Reply to Lease extension triggers doubling ground rent change
              by L4NDLORD
              it is quite true that the professionals unnecessarily make a meal of this type of work. One of the planks of my submission to Professor Hophins was that the landlord's costs should be limited to 500 pounds. I also suggested that relativity be standardised nationally (accepting that there would be winners...
              29-01-2022, 00:51 AM
            • Lease extension triggers doubling ground rent change
              by SouthernDave
              Has anyone had dealing with doubling ground rents?
              i have just asked for a quote for a lease extension and they are proposing new ground rent terms of a doubling ground rent every 25 years. My commercial guy has said some lenders don't like these which may reduce the value of the property of i...
              25-01-2022, 22:53 PM
            • Reply to Service charges according to floorspace vs lease stipulation
              by sgclacy
              So the new lessee who wishes to challenge the proportion would have seen BEFORE he purchased the flat what percentage he was to pay - the unfairness of the bargain was patently clear BEFORE he purchased and may we’ll have been reflected in the price paid for the flat. So notwithstanding all of that...
              28-01-2022, 22:45 PM
            • Water Leaks Again and Again and Again...
              by bigalxyz
              Director of RMC - 11 flats in London
              There seems to be a long standing problem with the plumbing in the bathroom of one of the flats. 4 water leaks in the last 18 months, causing damage to the flat below.

              Is there anything the RMC can do to compel the leaseholder of the problem flat...
              28-01-2022, 16:05 PM
            • Reply to Water Leaks Again and Again and Again...
              by bigalxyz
              There's no single cause - there have been multiple leaks - each time a different cause. Blocked bath overflow, leaking washing machine hose, leaking toilet cistern inlet, failed balloon valve in toilet, shower screen not fitted properly...all kinds of things. Just general neglect. Owner's never there,...
              28-01-2022, 22:32 PM
            • Reply to Water Leaks Again and Again and Again...
              by bigalxyz
              Thank you.

              I plan to leaf through the lease at the weekend - there may well be clauses along the lines that you suggest (it does ring a bell). Also I do know that there's a clause along the lines of "leaseholders mustn't do anything to mess up the insurance of the building, and are...
              28-01-2022, 22:30 PM
            • Reply to Water Leaks Again and Again and Again...
              by Macromia
              What it says in the lease is mostly what you have to rely on. I would be looking for any clauses that the flat needs to be kept in a good state of repair, and in particular anything that mentions keeping the pipes that serve the flat in a good state of repair and replaced when necessary and anything...
              28-01-2022, 20:53 PM