Are stopcocks responsibility of Lessee or Lessor

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    Are stopcocks responsibility of Lessee or Lessor

    Our flats were built in 1962. Some of the stopcocks are now seized up. Originally, the water came into the building and there was a stopcock for each flat in the cupboard in the communal area. It may confuse things a bit now because we have water meters for each flat outside. However, I wanted to get them looked at and if they couldn't be opened then replaced with new taps. The managing agent has just come back saying that the "stopcocks are down to the individual lessor". I think he means lessee.

    Is my stopcock in the cupboard downstairs my individual responsibility? It's not inside my flat. I think they should all be looked at and sorted out and paid in our service charges?

    You need to check what the lease says.

    Unfortunately many leases state that pipework used solely by an individual flat is the responsibility of the leaseholder. This is regardless of whether or not the pipework is in a common area.


      Both clearly have in interest in them working correctly/not failing.
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


        Why ? If it's on the service charge you will still be paying for it, but adding agent's and lessor's cut.
        Just get your own one sorted.


          I don't think it's like that here. If we get a plumber in, we will pay him what he charges. I am moving this year so will not get it done myself but if they are all looked at and we pay for it in our service charges then I will be happy to pay my share.


            I'd say your responsibility, usually everything from the external meter to the flat is your responsibility even if it runs through common areas.

            But as you do have an external meter it should be an easy job to turn the water off there to replace the internal stoptap.
            Your water company may say that you need their permission to turn use 'their' external stoptap except in an emergency.
            (Guess how often that gets ignored, and it's not a problem unless you somehow break it).



              Yes, I expect you are right. The trouble is that there are nine water meter covers outside and I wouldn't know which one is mine. Even if I did know, I wouldn't be able to get down and turn it off there. I might have been able to twenty years ago but not now!

              I've been here ten years without a flood so I've just got to last out a few more months until I move. It's one more reason which I want to move back into a freehold house.


                If you can't turn the water off and want to fit a new stopcock/shutoff valve then these can be fairly easily fitted without turning off the mains water:

                If you have room to fit one below the existing stopcock then you could replace that too, so you'd then have 2 shutoffs.

                They are readily available - Screwfix, Amazon, ebay, etc.
                Not cheap but what is these days?


                  If I was an awful lot younger I might do that. However, I think that, as sorting out my stopcock will only potentially benefit the owner of the flat underneath mine, I will not get it done myself. I asked the managing agent to look at the nine in the cupboard and he came back with "the stopcocks are down to the individual lessee". I have asked the residents association to look at it with a view to getting them all done at the same time but I am not going to push it as I am selling up this year.


                    Whether it is paid out of service charge or by individual flat owner, it still comes out the same pocket!.

                    However, given that you plan to sell you flat, the last thing you want is an uncontrolled water leak damaging your flat.

                    it is better to get a job done at once.

                    A spray of WD40 might help.


                      It does make a difference if I have to pay, say, £130 for just my one whereas all nine could be done for not a lot more. I've passed it over to the residents' association to decide whether they want to go ahead or not. I'll spray mine with WD40 tomorrow!


                        Originally posted by NaomiB View Post
                        It does make a difference if I have to pay, say, £130 for just my one whereas all nine could be done for not a lot more. I've passed it over to the residents' association to decide whether they want to go ahead or not. I'll spray mine with WD40 tomorrow!
                        You have a point, most of the cost for a small job like that is the plumbers call out charge, so it makes sense to only have the one call out.

                        If it's just seized up then there are things you can try, it may sound odd but one of them is tightening the top nut and then slackening it again.

                        Have a look at this youtube, I like this guy he has a few common sense videos:


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