Liability for leaking overflow.

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    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.


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