Leak into downstairs flat, am I liable?

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    Leak into downstairs flat, am I liable?

    Hi,

    I rent out an upstairs flat, which was a 1930s built house which has been converted into two flats. The water waste for the kitchen/bathroom goes out through the wall to outside. The downstairs flat, which is owned by a housing association, has an extension built at the back of the property which has boxed in the external waste pipe for my flat.

    That pipe has leaked in the roof cavity of the extension for the flat below and brought the ceiling down. Ive never had access to inspect those pipes as they’ve been boxed in.

    I’d say the extension is around 10years+old and I’m not sure if the company that owns the property built it or if they bought it when it was already built.

    Am I fully liable?

    #2
    I wouldn't have thought so if they have boxed in the pipes which prevented you from carrying out maintenance inspections. Are they asking you to pay? You might need a solicitor to respond if they are since I assume they will have more money to hire lawyers themselves.

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      #3
      Thanks for your advice. They haven’t asked for payment yet, the estate agent is managing the contact. This occurred 1.5month ago and I haven’t heard since, I’m asking as a precaution incase they do ask for payment. They did state they were going to send invoices.

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        #4
        Have a look at the licence granted under the lease for the ground floor flat, there may be an indemnity that runs with the land to which your LA lessee is subject

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          #5
          Can you not claim it on the insurance? Is the downstairs flat the freeholder of your flat and vice versa?

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            #6
            Unless you've been negligent in some way, the only way you'd be liable is if you have caused the leak in some way or have some sort of commitment to the owners downstairs to keep the pipes in a good state of repair (which would be extremely unusual).

            Pipes do sometimes leak, it happens - the downstairs owner should sort it out without involving you.
            There's a presumption that the person upstairs automatically has a liability, but that's not the case.
            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).

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