Powers against nuisance

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    Powers against nuisance

    Following a series of leaks and incidents of water ingress from the flat upstairs, I have been trying to get the owner to seal the gaps in his open floorboards as any spillage runs directly onto the plasterboard of our ceiling. He has refused.

    I have provided the Management Company with a 20 page document detailing the damage and its causes with over a dozen incidents over a 5 year period. I believe that this constitutes a breach of the lease in causing a nuisance, but they do not seem to know how to proceed with this. A contractor was brought in to make a report and they recommended the gaps be filled. What are the management company/freeholder's powers to enforce this aspect of the lease and how can I compel them to act? Thanks.

    #2
    I think you need to consult a solicitor for legal advice on this. If the neighbour has refused to do anything and the freeholder and managing agent have proved useless in resolving the issue, you most likely need to take legal action against one of them (or more).

    Comment


      #3
      I'm not really convinced that this could be considered a breach, are there any clauses you are looking at that would cover this ?

      If it can be considered a lease there are specific performance and damages routes to take in the courts.

      There is a pre-action protocol that deals with 'housing repairs' you may find useful. > http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/pro...tocol/prot_hou

      Andy
      Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

      I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

      It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

      Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

      Comment


        #4
        Unless the floor boards are in disrepair the protocol and like actions will fail.

        The current legal position is that while a person who does something in land should be liable for the consequences of its affecting others, eg spilt water, it must be attached to an act of nuisance. That sets it apart from accident.

        That said the continual introduction of water into the intervening timbers and plaster may have both health and structural implications, and if those timbers are jointly owned/responsibility of the two of you, a breach of contract.

        This opens several options to you and frankly is a lawyer's dream for the fees. None are entirely convincing but together should win the day. It might be sensible to agree to share the cost of a lining or repair than enrich the lawyers.

        Assuming the floorboards are exposed a chap and clear silicone might be the answer ( and that the lease does not require that floors are covered or protected, which may in turn be a breach which is enforceable.
        Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks. The floor boards are in disrepair. And the causes of many of the leaks was disrepair, and several of which reoccurred as the result of botched repairs. However, does the protocol refer only to repairs which are the responsibility of the landlord,as opposed to the lessee?

          "a chap and clear silicone might be the answer": this is all that we are requesting, but he is refusing even to do this basic repair. The result is that we are facing the possibility of repeated insurance claims, and this will effect all lessees.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by midnightrambler View Post
            Thanks. The floor boards are in disrepair. And the causes of many of the leaks was disrepair, and several of which reoccurred as the result of botched repairs. However, does the protocol refer only to repairs which are the responsibility of the landlord,as opposed to the lessee?

            "a chap and clear silicone might be the answer": this is all that we are requesting, but he is refusing even to do this basic repair. The result is that we are facing the possibility of repeated insurance claims, and this will effect all lessees.
            As I suggested to you in your previous post, sue the beggar.

            If your claim is under £5000, it will be in small claims court, and no lawyers' fees are payable whatever the outcome.

            Have a look here: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTax...oney/DG_195118
            To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

            Comment


              #7
              I was thinking about the clear silicone as a gap filler. If they are in disrepair, then they are not obliged to reinstate anything other than what is there, (?) a plain edge board of appropriate thickness, with gaps, would be acceptable and not stop water ingress.

              As nuisance is going to be harder to prove if they are in disrepair ( and simply letting water pass through an existing gap is not disrepair) then the claim might be against the landlord to enforce the repairing covenant in the flat, if the lease so requires.

              If it allows landlord to enter and repair, then the protocol as suggested by Andydd, can be used.

              You could not as suggested sue the bugger unless you can prove nuisance, as opposed to him being a clumsy and careless arse with water, and that is going to compensate you but not order him to repair.

              As to the causes of the leaks arising from disrepair then the post above on enforcement applies, or failing that the local authority might be persuaded and will inspect and serve a repair notice.

              As posted earlier if the joists are jointly owned you could sue as a breach of contract and obligation, or if the are reserved then the woodland might be persuaded to take action to deal with damage to them.

              Time to drag out the lease!
              Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                I was thinking about the clear silicone as a gap filler. If they are in disrepair, then they are not obliged to reinstate anything other than what is there, (?) a plain edge board of appropriate thickness, with gaps, would be acceptable and not stop water ingress.

                As nuisance is going to be harder to prove if they are in disrepair ( and simply letting water pass through an existing gap is not disrepair) then the claim might be against the landlord to enforce the repairing covenant in the flat, if the lease so requires.

                If it allows landlord to enter and repair, then the protocol as suggested by Andydd, can be used.

                You could not as suggested sue the bugger unless you can prove nuisance, as opposed to him being a clumsy and careless arse with water, and that is going to compensate you but not order him to repair.

                As to the causes of the leaks arising from disrepair then the post above on enforcement applies, or failing that the local authority might be persuaded and will inspect and serve a repair notice.

                As posted earlier if the joists are jointly owned you could sue as a breach of contract and obligation, or if the are reserved then the woodland might be persuaded to take action to deal with damage to them.

                Time to drag out the lease!
                Did you read Roger's previous thread LHA?

                The guy has flooded the flat about a dozen times in six years. I suggested Roger sue the guy for the repairs. That might encourage him to seal the floor don't you think, if not better still seal his pipes?

                How will the woodland make him seal his floor?
                To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                  Did you read Roger's previous thread LHA?

                  The guy has flooded the flat a number of times in six years. I suggested Roger sue the guy for the repairs. That might encourage him to seal the floor don't you think, if not better still seal his pipes?
                  That's very helpful James

                  That history would assist greatly in proving nuisance ( it can only happen so often) and with clear disrepair, then the other avenues are open to him.

                  Time to drag out the lease.
                  Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                  Comment

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