Damage from water leak

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    Damage from water leak

    Hi, I was contacted by the managing agents of a flat we let out asking us to contact the estate agent who manages the flat below, due to a leak from our flat creating a hole in the ceiling below. We contacted the estate agent, they said they had just taken over this flat which had been empty for some time and noticed water damage to the ceiling. They had a plumber look at it and saw water was coming through the concrete floor into their flat. We have not yet seen the damage in the downstairs flat.
    58 leak.jpeg


    I contacted our tenant to arrange for us to come up and see whats happening. There was considerable damage in the boiler cupboard. Carpet had been removed - the concrete floor was wet - the laminated skirting blown and water marks and mould up to about 12 inches from the floor. This is a 15 year old flat. The tenant was turning the water off and on when needed.

    Our tenant was aware of the leak but did not advise us. We dont make inspections very regularly - the last one was about 8 months ago. Our tenant has been with us for 10 years.

    The building insurance has a £2500 excess for Escape of Water (insurance does not include the fix, only repair of damage done. As the tenant knew about the leak for some time I doubt that the insurance would cover this.

    I want to ask the tenant to contribute to the damage costs, or withhold the deposit (£750) - is this reasonable or possible? Do I need to advise the tenant of this now.

    I have asked the tenant why did they not tell us about the leak and I am not getting any answer on that. Which makes me think they are not looking after the place and I feel like giving notice to leave. Would this be considered Revenge Eviction?

    I am also worried that the flat downstairs could sue us for lost rent if we dont get this sorted really quickly.

    I would be really grateful for any advice on this.
    Attached Files

    #2
    Nah. It would only be revenge eviction if tenant actually had notified you, and you'd done nothing. I think it's time for a s21 notice.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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      #3
      I agree that eviction would be a possibility but that would depend on their reaction to your request to contribute, they must be learning impaired, what they were thinking (or not) when the leak was going ahead is beyond me. It really does depend on how they have been for the past decade as a tenant and how much the damage is combined with your place and the flat below, if it is reasonable and they will contribute then i may give them a second chance..... if they have been a very good tenant for the last 10 yrs, if any of the this is a no no then they would be out.

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        #4
        Whoever owns the flat downstairs should claim on their insurance - although the insurance company (or they) could make a claim against the tenant (or you) if they can show that the damage was caused by negligence - which it was.

        So, yes, I'd warn the tenant that they could be in for a hefty claim, because by not reporting the problem and causing the damage, they've been negligent and could have to pay for the damage they've caused.

        On the other hand, if there haven't been any routine inspections, some of that negligence is probably your own (or your agents) although Covid might be an excuse.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

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          #5
          If this has been going on a while the damage to the concrete floors could be very expensive. Perhaps get a surveyor to look at it quickly and then if problems are extensive you need to alert your insurer. Having gone through a claim for water escape recently I'd say it is probably worth appointing a loss assessor to represent you. Check your policy first and see what it says about notifying them. I would suspect that it is demonstrable that the first you knew of it was the contact from downstairs and your obligation will be to notify asap after that. If it is negated due to lack of notice then this can be pinned on your T but it is possible that the deposit will not go very far.
          Assume I know nothing.

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            #6
            Thank you all for this, Ive been really worried.

            Comment


              #7
              and still am! I hope the integrity of the building has not been compromised - I did ask my husband that and he said he didnt think so as they have concrete out in all weathers.

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