Leak from Upstairs Flat - how to resolve

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    Leak from Upstairs Flat - how to resolve

    Hello, last winter, I noticed water marks on my bathroom ceiling (this is directly under the bathroom of my neighbour upstairs), the managing agent initially said it was nothing to do with them when I raised it but when I spoke to the leasehold advice people, they said it needed to start with the agent. So they sent a plumber to review, he resealed the shower upstairs and suggested my ceiling be repainted so I could monitor progress. When I asked the managing agent for the next steps, they sent me an insurance claim form, although I'm not sure what I was meant to claim without a full reparation taking place. They had also said they would follow up with a more indepth investigation if the problem continued. My neighbour was told she would receive a report which she never received. The water mark remained, several months on I have now noticed the water mark continuing to spread and on touching the ceiling, a hole has appeared. I'm guessing it is some kind of slow leak and the resealing didn't in itself stop the problem. Having contacted the managing agent again, they initially said sort it out with your neighbour and when I resent their previous correspondence that they would follow up if the problem continued they have just gone silent and don't respond to any requests for information. It is very hard to tell the source of the water from below, I know it may be the responsibility from my neighbour rather than the communal building but she is reluctant to take responsibility without the managing agent investigating further. What are my options here?

    #2
    You claim on your insurance they send the surveyor and then the bill is shared between your insurance and her or most likely there will be a claim made against the building insurance taken out by your management agents to cover issues like this

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Anna1985 View Post
      You claim on your insurance they send the surveyor and then the bill is shared between your insurance and her or most likely there will be a claim made against the building insurance taken out by your management agents to cover issues like this
      And when the insurance increases because of the water leak, your new ceiling etc, make sure the agent tells leaeholder they will be responsible for the premium increase for every year it is in place.
      Suggest if they don't want that to happen, then fix ALL leaks immediately, and pay for the repais to your flat, by either
      1) paying you themselves
      2) through the leaseholders own contents cover insureance.

      Tell the agent not to go through the companies building insurance if leaseholder does not agree to paying the policy increase.
      If leaseholder does not want to do anything -- sue them ( best to threaten to sue them )



      Comment


        #4
        I don't have contents insurance to claim on which doesn't help. In terms of establishing the cause and remediation, is the agent responsible and then they would assign the costs where they are due, either the landlord, as a building cost as part of the service charge, my neighbour or indeed myself.

        Comment


          #5
          The leaseholder of the flat is responsible to stop a water leak and also to repair your flat. A.S.A.P.

          When you mention the Managing Agent, I assume you mean the agent that runs the place on behalf of the freeholder, and you pay your service charges to the M.A.
          Just in case the flat above is let, and you mean the Letting agent , as NO WAY does a Managing agent say it's nothing to do with them.

          What happens when the water comes into a flat from the roof. Nothing to do with them ????, see the man upstairs ?

          Give me their phone number, if above is correct, and ...... well ........... they won't like my demands.

          anyway - sue them if you get no satisfaction.

          Comment


            #6
            I suggest that you go back to the agent and ask them to inform the plumber to return and complete the job which he was instructed to do. If they do nothing or do not respond, just say that you will suspend all payments until they take action.

            Comment


              #7
              Thank you, by Agent, yes I mean the managing agent who collects the service charge (due for the year tomorrow). The last communication from them yesterday along with a copy of the building insurance cert.

              "The property above would need to carry out further investigations into the issue as this would be demised, I have provided them with the report from the contractors previous attendance. They advised that the flooring to the shower would need to be uplifted to source the leak if it was evident that the resealing they carried out had not worked. I have also provided the owner of the property above with the insurance details in order to raise a claim to both damages within their property and yours.

              As this is a flat to flat leak it would be between you and your neighbour to communicate on the redecoration of your property once they have confirmed the leak has been sourced and fixed."

              Followed up with

              "We would not normally instruct a contractor due to it being a demised issue, on this occasion we can organise this as the Property Manager has previously confirmed he would. Please can you confirm you are happy to be recharged the cost of the contractors visit, investigation and repair? Until they attend to carry out the works we would not be able to confirm the cost. I have included a link to The Leasehold Advisory Service, this provides information on how a leak should be dealt with between flats. Firstly the leak need to be identified by the leaseholder to establish the responsibility, I have advised the property above yours that they need to instruct a plumber to investigate and source the leak. I have not yet received confirmation that they have instructed anyone."

              I have a call booked with the leaseadvice people tomorrow to get their steer.

              Comment


                #8
                So 2 months after constantly chasing my neighbour and the management company, the issue has come to a head this week when there was a water dump through my bathroom and hallway and also through my neighbours bathroom floor(above me). I was away and only found out because my friend was checking my flat. I called my neighbour to find out what was happening, she said she had been flooded by the guy above her but hadn't informed either of us only contacted the managing agent. After a couple of days of back and forth, she agreed to contract a plumber who confirmed there was a blockage from the drains above me, either from her drain or his drain next floor up as they are connected probably caused by flushing of wipes. It doesn't help that there doesn't seem to be plans of the piping system available.
                So thankfully the leak has been stopped and the report from the plumber will be crucial. So what next?

                Do I claim repair costs (new bathroom ceiling I think) through the building insurance and the excess (£500) from my neighbour? Both floors above are determined to say its not them but a building/communal issue or will blame each other. Their expectation seems to be it will come from the service charge.

                Do I just get a quote for repairs, claim from the building insurance and absorb the excess myself?

                Do I ask my neighbour to pay all my repair costs?
                I expect the insurance company will do an investigation, could the fact that my neighbour knew there was an issue and didn't do anything about it for 2 months be viewed as negligence? She should have had it investigated in a timely manner, right?

                ​​​​

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Focus View Post
                  I don't have contents insurance to claim on
                  Not your contents insurance, but upstairs contents insurance gets claimed on.

                  Go back to to the freeholder / agent and tell them that this problem IS their problem, as the leak is damaging the fabric of the building, ( joists / brickwork ) and any leaseholder that continues to cause potential damage to the freeholders fabric of the building and damage to other laseholders flats, and wont reply / fix, the freeholder is entitled to notify the offending leaseholder to investigate and fix, otherwise they will enter the flat, fix the leak, and bill the offendimng leaseholder.

                  They can also go for forfeiture of the flat if upper flat refuses to fix and continues to damage the freeholders property, and your property.

                  As post number 5, Give me their phone number, ( they won't like my demands, but should comply )



                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thank you Ram, so what do I need to do as the next step? I guess I need to see the plumbers report, given that they may not be able to pinpoint which of them contributed to the blockage makes it difficult to judge.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Next step is to do as post 9.

                      There may also be a covenant in the lease : -

                      not to do or permit or suffer to be done on the demised premises any act or thing which maybe or become a nuisance annoyance or inconvenience to the lessor or his tenants or the occupiers of the building or the owners lessees or ocupiers of any adjoining or neighbouring flats or premises.

                      or other such requirement, and if so, YOU are in receipt of "nuisance annoyance or inconvenience".and tell the landlord to "Go enter the flat at the leaseholders expence"

                      What does the lease say about above and the landlord gaining access to flats to inspect and / or fix faults a leaseholder refuses to. ( leaseadvice will also ask about this )

                      Comment


                        #12
                        The leak has now been fixed thankfully but remedying the damage is the next challenge. I reiterated a number of times to the agent they had a responsibility particularly when the neighbour was not taking action but they ignored that.

                        The lease includes the following

                        Under Tenant User Regulations
                        Not to do anything which may be or become a nuisance annoyance or cause offence
                        damage or inconvenience to the Landlord or any owner or occupier of the Dwellings
                        And under excepted rights:
                        The following are excepted and reserved from this Lease for the benefit of the Development
                        and shall be construed as extending to the Landlord the Management Company the tenants
                        for the time being of the other Dwellings the Service Companies and all other persons from
                        time to time authorised by the Landlord:
                        ACCESS TO THE PROPERTY
                        Subject to compliance with the Conditions for Entry the right to enter the Property with
                        or without agents, professional advisers and workmen and equipment, so far as is
                        necessary:
                        2.1 to carry out any of its obligations as to the provision of the Services
                        2.2 to inspect or carry out works to the Retained Parts or the Dwellings within the Building
                        2.3 to inspect maintain install re-route or replace any Conducting Media serving any other
                        part of the Building or the Development
                        2.4 to inspect the state of repair and condition of the Property (following which the
                        Landlord may give notice of any breach of the Tenant’s covenants relating to the
                        repair or condition of the Property)
                        2.5 to carry out works needed to remedy any breach set out in any notice served under
                        paragraph 2.4 above if the works have not been carried out by the Tenant to the
                        reasonable satisfaction of the Landlord within the time period specified in the notice

                        2.6 for any other purpose mentioned in or connected with this Lease
                        And under Remedy breaches
                        REMEDY BREACHES
                        13.1 If the Landlord has given notice of any breach of any of the Tenant’s covenants
                        contained in this Lease relating to the repair or condition of the Property to carry out
                        all works needed to remedy that breach as quickly as possible and in any event within
                        the time period specified in the notice (or immediately in an emergency) to the
                        reasonable satisfaction of the Landlord
                        13.2 If the Tenant does not carry out the works within the time specified in the Landlord’s
                        notice or has not completed them to the Landlord’s reasonable satisfaction to permit
                        the Landlord and all persons authorised by the Landlord to enter the Property and
                        carry out the works required and on demand to pay to the Landlord the costs incurred
                        (on a full indemnity basis) by the Landlord in carrying out any such works pursuant to
                        this paragraph (including any solicitors’ surveyors’ or other professional’ costs and
                        expenses and any VAT on them)


                        This doesn't outline the notice or time period required. The lease doesn't mention the managing agent as a party. I am not sure if the managing agent's obligations fall under those of landlord or management company (RMC)?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It's now up to you to sue for damages, as it's your demise that has been damaged.
                          The lease will never mention the managing company, as that is an option for the freeholder to appoint one.

                          All you can do now is get an estimate to repair the damage ( holes may have to be poked into the ceiling to check how damp the joists are and the rest of the plaster ) then give a copy of the quote to the leaseholder and state that you will be expecting payment BEFORE you can start the work, and preferably within 14 days.
                          If you get a No, or no response, then advise them that court action will have to be taken, as they are guilty of damaging your flat, And prolonging the water leak through none action, that all your costs to persue court action, will be theirs to pay the court, to you for your leagal costs. but you hope common sense will prevail.

                          It's up to the other leaseholder to pay to rectify your damaged flat and it's no concern of yours where he gets the money from to pay you., be it from his own contents insurance, of from a rich aunt.

                          I would suggest you get contents insurance as in future, they would battle it out with the other leasehodrs contents insurance, and other leasholders insurance would pay up.

                          The managing agent takes over the maintenence from the freeholder / RMC / RTM companies.as well as accounts, and sueing leasholders for breach of the lease, but as the leak has been fixed, it's now your responsibility to get paid for the repairs

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