on -going leaks

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    on -going leaks

    Hi All,

    The flat upstair has been leaking for some years. The ceiling soon partially collapsed stopping me fro m letting the flat. The leaseholder upstairs kept claiming that the leak was not coming from her flat despite sending them photos of her wet subfloor. I sent a letter claiming for reimbursement for damage to my flat and for loss of rent.

    After months of going back and forth and getting the freeholder involved the flat above said they would pay for damage via their own insurance. The freeholder is not happy to have this claimed on the building policy due to negligence. However, they have been telling their insurance not to pay out because my flat isn’t residential (it is) therefore not lettable and that the leak isn’t coming from them and have told the insurance not to send their surveyor until her architect visits my flat.

    The architect has been discussing investigating my planning application, council tax and ‘other things’ so l decided not to allow the architect in and don't understand why an architect is even involved. I have always said that I would let the insurance surveyor or a plumber in.

    They are now saying that I legally have to let the architect in or his surveyors despite already having a survey of my own.

    Where do I stand on this?

    Can I refuse her surveyors, and insist on the insurance company to inspect? I don't want someone who has been appointed to investigate things other than the leak into my property. I have gutted the property a month ago and need this leak fixed so I can continue with refurbishments.

    Thanks in advance for your help.


    On one hand people may argue, the freeholder has rights to access and assess the property in accordance with the lease whenever it is reasonable or essential to do so. However if you initiate the disrepair protocol you will have much more leverage, but it is not for bluffing...


    In my opinion (I am not a property solicitor so please do your own research to clarify), but have been through this process in similar situations (without the reno)

    In line with the protocol :
    - insist on an impartial suveyor,
    - the best way to get that is via your/a solicitors independant register.
    - Suggest 3 surveyors in your letter of claim for him to choose from, (if he does not agree to one of your 3 and wishes to instruct his own then 1 that you choose (probably the cheapest) of the 3 can be experts together.)

    If your freeholder does not wish to incurr the expense (you might also incur expense, especially if he does choose joint expert) he can either fully admitt liability, or more likely, and you are happy for the insurance company to send a surveyor and trust their inspection report then that would surely be a cheaper option for him/everyone and I have successfully come to this conclusion on one occasion (meaning the insurance company surveyor is your joint surveyor for the purpose of the protocol)

    - The freeholder is probably in breach of his nuisance obligations by not ensuring this is fixed properly over such a prolonged period of time (assumming notice)
    - The insurance company decides whether to send a surveyor/loss adjustor not the freeholder, if you can prove you are paying a part of the premium then you can speak directly with the insurance company to inform them of the extent/duration of the nuisance which will spring them into action, see what the insurance company say and go from there.

    Best of luck whichever route u take!


      Thank you for your response. Sorry if I didn't make myself clear but the freeholder has already sent a surveyor and they are satisfied that the leak has been caused from upstairs.

      It's the leaseholder who wants to send their own surveyor or architect, and has refused to allow their insurance company to view my flat despite instructing them. Very counter-productive.

      The freeholder sent a notice to repair but stopped proceedings as the leaseholder promised to get their insurance company to pay for the damage.

      Obviously the freeholder needs to restart legal action too.


        ah i understand, sorry for confusion. As far as I'm aware, there is absolutely no reason to let anyone representing another leaseholder into your apartment. are you obliged to? no.... will your claim hurt if you dont? almost certinaly not... As i understand it she is essentially challenging the survey you already have so lets start there.

        What kind of survey have you already conducted and who conducted it? How was the leak traced? If you think it is strong/detailed enough and independant, enough to hold up in court I see no reason not to esculate the claim to the next stage if the negligent party is not willing to make a reasonable offer of settlement. If she choses not to make a claim from her insurance company that is up to her, makes no difference to you.


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