Leak into downstairs flat - advice

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Leak into downstairs flat - advice


    I'm new the forum and the UK and wonder if you can advise…
    I’ve recently moved to the UK from Canada and so I’m not sure of rights and liabilities... I moved into my flat a few months ago and caused a leak into the apartment below me by leaving the tap running in the bathroom for a few minutes while I washed the basin out after I had shaved. The basin overflowed and caused some damage to the apartment below – mainly ceiling damage. To add to this, the tap isn't particularly powerful and the plug wasn't in the basin.
    A plumber was called and there are no leaks to the bath or toilet (to verify that this was the issue). I’m happy to pay for the plumber in good faith. However the plumber stated the following:
    1. The discharge pipe isn’t large enough which causes water to remain in the basin and slows drainage
    2. There should be a burble valve? To prevent air lock and the allow the sink to drain quicker
    3. There is no overflow to the basin
    The neighbour below says this has been going on for some time (Extending to before i moved in)? Which is odd if this one off incident has been a recurring issue. Plus he hasn’t mentioned this to me or to my knowledge the LL or previous tenants before…

    Could anyone advise who is liable for damages? Im happy to pay for whats fair but in my experience, taps should be allowed to run without overflowing when no plug is present in the sink.

    Whatever the state of the overflow you are responsible for the flood. Taps are not intended to be left running unattended, and overflows are not intended to have to cope with running taps.

    The fact that others might have done the same is irrelevant.

    But you only need to pay for the damage you caused, not prior damage. Even if it might be theoretically possible to claim on insurance, that does not absolve you and there are all sorts of other issued like increased premiums and excesses.


      I'd say it must have been more than 'a few minutes' if there was enough water to damage the ceiling downstairs.

      Even if there was a basin overflow they are hardly ever of a sufficent size to discharge a fully running tap, they are:
      1. An air vent to allow faster draining of a basin after you pull the plug out.
      2. A 'second chance' to slow down filling while you notice that you have made a mistake and left the tap on.
      3. To cope with a dripping tap / plug still in scenario.

      A 'bubble' valve may help, but probably not, they are meant to stop gurgling noises, and to prevent the syphoning of water out of the trap/s-bend so that smellls come from the outlet.
      If you have those problems then one could be considered.
      One of these would not have prevented the overflow.

      If the basin fills up and overflows when the taps are run and the plug is out then possibly the piping is too small, but if it's the same size as the basin outlet then bigger piping will not help.
      Its probably more to do with the routing and 'fall' of the pipes.

      In the end you admit that it was your error in leaving the tap running unattended that caused the overflow and so caused the damage.
      If you had not left the tap running unattended it would not have happened. Bet you don't do it again.
      Your fault, your responsibility to pay for any damage caused to your neighbours ceiling.

      Be careful of that plumber, he seems to be suggesting things that may be 'better' but would not have prevented your accident.
      There again he may just have been making suggestions, not pushing you to take them.
      Of course if he can persuade you to change the pipes and fit a bubble valve then he makes more money.


        T responsibility.


          It turns out that there was a leak coming from the roof that caused the problem. It just so happened to be on the same day. However the sink will still be fixed which is good news.


          Latest Activity


          • Housing Benefit query
            Hello i am hoping someone can help with a query my 19 year old son is due to leave college soon and hoping to get an apprenticeship, when this happens I will lose my tax credits so I am wondering if I ask my landlord to put him on the tenancy when it is due for renewal soon will he be able to claim...
            19-01-2019, 11:32 AM
          • Reply to Housing Benefit query
            He is your son, you house him for free....
            19-01-2019, 12:07 PM
          • Bicycle Question

            I live in a building that has 2 flats. The entrance to our building has a barred gate. My neighbour rents out her flat through a letting agency. My neighbour's tenant started chaining her bike to the gate outside and I wonder whether anyone knows whether this is a health and safety...
            19-01-2019, 02:11 AM
          • Reply to Bicycle Question
            From what I see, this is an obstruction to your "Right to free and unobstructed access to your property"
            If it was me, I would pivot the bike ( as it's chained to the rails, ) so that the bike is behind the dustbin.
            Dust bin Hard against the bike.
            It's your right to remove
            19-01-2019, 11:43 AM
          • Tenancy renewal - no interim Council Tax liability?
            I understand that the Landlord is liable for Council Tax on the last day of a tenancy, even if a new tenancy commences the following day, because it is deemed that someone other that the outgoing or incoming Tenants could potentially stay in the property overnight (which is spurious and improbable)....
            18-01-2019, 13:14 PM
          • Reply to Tenancy renewal - no interim Council Tax liability?
            Legal time is not the same as real time.
            Things don't just happen at the same time, they happen in a sequence at the same time.

            It doesn't matter in the insurance policy example, but it does in a complex series of transactions (like selling a house).

            However, I have to...
            19-01-2019, 10:34 AM
          • How to get tenant out
            I want to sell my property and have already tried to sell it with tenant in situ for the last six months but have had no luck. Had a few viewing but no offers.
            Estate agent said I need to evict the tenant.
            I'm happy to pay for this service to get it right first time and have seen landlord...
            19-01-2019, 09:02 AM
          • Reply to How to get tenant out
            I get the impression that certain companies push clients down the s8 route to garner fees from court appearances, rather than suggesting an easier diy s21 eviction. Do some reading here about s21 before giving a lawyer a payday, IIWY.
            19-01-2019, 10:04 AM
          • Reply to How to get tenant out
            If you dont know how to do it then yes. It may take a while if you havent served the correct paperwork...
            19-01-2019, 09:56 AM
          • Reply to Bicycle Question
            It;s not possible to know whether it is a health and safety issue just from the photograph, as we cannot see whether or not you would already have reached a place of safety on the far side of the gate.

            It is a trespass against the owner of the gate and against the owner of the road, and...
            19-01-2019, 09:50 AM