Balcony Roof Repair - Landlord's Responsibility?

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    Balcony Roof Repair - Landlord's Responsibility?

    Hello all,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. I've looked at similar posts but none seem to match directly with my situation, so bear me out!

    I own a leasehold flat on the fourth floor of a block of 30, that I rent out. The demised area includes the balcony, which I have exclusive use. The lease states that the tiling / floorboards are my responsibility, including 1/2 the area between both the ceiling and floors. The balcony is not in its entirety free-standing, more than half of its extent comprises the roof of the flat below. There are two water waste drains on the inward edge. They do not drain solely my balcony; pipes lead down from the roof above. Pipes, where they are stated in the lease as being the Landlord's responsibility, are defined as: "...drains, mains, ducts, conduits, gutters, watercourses.." and not exclusively serving one dwelling.

    At the end of a long term tenancy last September, I saw that the tiles had lifted in most places and were a potential tripping hazard. I had no reports of leaks from the downstairs property.

    After contacting the managing agents in November stating that in my opinion it forms part of the roof, it should be the Landlord's responsibility for repairs. They stuck to the spiel that it's a balcony, and just tiling, and under my demise, so not so. I agreed on a contractor to undertake the repairs who, upon lifting the tiles packed up and said it was a bigger job than he was capable. The lunar landscape of the surface that was revealed is of asphalt and on subsequent assessment by two separate contractors, appears to have been a fault in the laying stage; that it hadn't been packed properly and the holes enlarged and caused the lifted tiles. As the development was built in 1996, I have no recall to the original developers.

    I employed one of the contractors, and their intention was to remove all the asphalt, level with consideration to the drains, and apply Cure-it glassfibre roofing with decking.

    With this agreed, on excavation of the asphalt, what has been revealed are thermal boards, such that should not be apparent on a balcony, and no tiles should have been applied above them. The contractor was expecting to see concrete beneath the asphalt. There is concrete beneath 4 inches of this thermal layer. Their intention now is to strip all of the insulation from the balcony and make a stud wood construction, then fill between the stud with 4" insulation and board up with exterior tongue and groove ply wood board. Then apply the glassfibre roofing and decking. This involves more cost, and work has now stopped till we hear from the managing agents, the fear being that they maintain that it's still my responsibility to effect repairs.

    My question is how do I ensure that the Landlord accept responsibility for the repair?
    Could my balcony be regarded as a watercourse for the two common water pipes/drains?

    Many thanks in advance.

    #2
    How many other balconies are there?

    Reason I ask is because it sounds like this will be a problem for everyone. In that case the cost for doing the whole block will likely be similar per flat as you are paying now. In that case, is there any point in getting the landlord involved?

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      #3
      Hi JKO,
      Well, there are I would estimate about 20 balconies in the block. Not all the balconies are the same design, mine seems to be unique in having an area that forms part of the flat below. Most if not all the others are free in space with no enclosed living area beneath them. They would therefore I assume not have the insulation layer.
      I can of course bite the bullet, but would rather not have to.
      I will have a word with the contractor if they've done work on other balconies in the block, I have a feeling they have.

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