work specification not followed, and roof still leaks. Surveyor specifies more works.

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    work specification not followed, and roof still leaks. Surveyor specifies more works.

    There was a series of water leak from a small flat (non-pitched) roof.

    This flat (non-pitched) roof has a small fence-like structure, so that the residents [leaseholder AA] were using the roof as their balcony, placing plant pots and sitting on a stool, standing there singing etc. Their visitors often enter this balcony-structure.

    Reportedly, the weight of these plant pots damaged the roof surface, and sitting on the stool punctured the roof coverage, which caused the water to leak from the roof.

    According to the solicitor who reviewed AA's lease (and the extended lease) explained that this balcony-look roof is EXCLUDED from their lease.
    So, they have no rights to use it.

    According to the surveyor's specification which was agreed with RTM, a new roof with new materials will be installed.

    The work started.

    Then, the contractors suggested the 'cheaper option' on site, and the surveyor's specification was basically ignored. There was no updated written specification.

    Of note, in our case, the contract administrator and the surveyor are the identical company.

    According to the initial specification, the contract administrators are the only persons entitled to amend the specification in any way, or to issue any variation orders or surveyors instructions. Any amendments are to be confirmed directly by the contract administrators in writing. The contract administrators reserve the right to withdraw any items of work from the specification without prejudice to any profit the contractor had allowed for that item of work.

    The roofer did some 'short-term' solution by adding another timber layer on top of the old one, therefore, the surface of the roof was new and the new coverage can be installed, but this make the roof structure multi-layered and have fairly large cavity, which is an added complexity to the roof structure. If the water enters the cavity, the water may stay there longer, which may cause more rot.

    Unfortunately, even worse,
    the residents [leaseholder AA] interfered the roofer's process. It seems that the leaseholder AA 'asked' NOT to change the look of the balcony. So, the roofer could not apply the long-term seal on the roof. The 'short-term' seal wouldn't last long, so that the water will leak again fairly soon, naturally.

    The surveyor knows about this, but says the water leak from the flat roof was stopped by this work, and that the initial goal of the work is achieved.

    Just a few days later, the heavy rain caused the water leak to Leaseholder BB's flat and further down to Leaseholder CC's flat [water reached 2 levels downwards].

    The surveyor and the contractor now say that the leak is from the top roof, not from the flat roof.

    So, they say that we will need another work, saying that the new specification will be provided.

    Leaseholder BB asked the surveyor if the current seal of the flat roof is really water-tight. Then, the surveyor responded, saying that the top roof may need to be fully re-newed, rather than 'patch-repair'.

    I personally think that (at least some of) the water is actually coming from the top roof too, and that the work on the top roof would make a difference.

    However,
    It feels like to me that the surveyor is 'threating' us with the more expensive work that can be specified in his own work scope/ specification.
    So, I don't want the conflict between Leaseholder BB and the surveyor/ property manager to escalate.



    From my point of view,

    1. the written specification for the flat roof repair was not followed. The initial specification was for the long-term solution, which may be more expensive than the contractor's suggested option, but the work was instructed based on the initial specification.

    2. If the written specification can be ignored on site without any written updates, who will take responsibilities for the outcome? I think it would be the surveyor. But if the surveyor is the one who can specify more additional works in the more expensive terms, I think something is missing here.

    3. the leaseholder AA who interfered the process does NOT have any right to use the roof. They are the one who damaged the roof. [the request of the compensation for the damage may be considered separately.] Who can ask the compensation? RTM only, Leaseholder BB only? or both?

    4. Due to the 'cheaper option' was implemented, which introduced more complexity in the roof structure, the future maintenance of the flat roof may be more complex. Can RTM have any compensation for this?

    5. The surveyor was chosen by the property manager [RTM's delegates]. But the leaseholder BB [RTM member] of the downstairs does not think the surveyor did an adequate job in this case. Can Leaseholder BB object that the surveyor's decision is misleading, if the long-term solution as in the initial specification was preferred option to Leaseholder BB? If so, what is the likely outcome if BB will take the legal actions? Does RTM has to pay for the re-do? Or, the surveyor should pay for the re-do? Or, something else?

    Thank you very much for reading this. Much appreciated.

    #2
    A simple way of proof might be to put a hose pipe on to the lower roof and see if it leaks into the other flats. Video the proceedings. Then form a plan of action from there.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

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      #3
      The roofer said that they did the 'experiment' using the tap water [roughly 40 litre], and did not leak. So, they think that at least the 'shot-term' seal is working for now.

      But with the really heavy rain, the sheer quantity of water might have made a difference.

      Also, the flow of the water suggests that the top roof would need an attention -- I agree to that.

      But the proper seal for the flat roof (as intended) should also be done, Leaseholder BB says.



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