How to mitigate against water leaks?

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    How to mitigate against water leaks?

    I'm considering renting out my property (a 3rd floor flat) but I'm concerned about water leaks and the cost to me should the worst happen.

    What steps could I take to mitigate the effect of water leaks?

    For example I'm considering getting a leak detector installed, but would appreciate it if anyone else has any suggestions. Thanks!

    #2
    If you are seriously worried about leaks, then you should fit isolating valves on all outlets so they can be closed off. You may be wise to get an insurance policy which you can get emergency plumber out.

    Anything can go wrong in a property, to make it fool proof is impossible to do, you just need to ensure you have contact numbers available for when things do go wrong, if not then a insurance policy.

    Comment


      #3
      You want to be careful that your mitigation doesn't make your position worse.

      What exactly are you worried about?
      Your plumbing failing or the tenant causing a flood?
      And who are you concerned about protecting from damage, yourself or people downstairs?
      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).

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for your replies.

        I'm worried that we don't have any insurance for escape of water (See my other post in the insurance section) so I want to minimise the risk of any major escape of water (either by accident from the tenant or by the plumbing failing). Having two flats underneath mine, I'm worried about the need to compensate those below should water escape.

        I would certainly get insurance that had emergency call-out if the worst happened, thanks it's a good suggestion.

        Comment


          #5
          Make sure the tenant speaks to the neighbours. You want them to work together to stop leaks early rather than send legal letters weeks later.

          Comment


            #6
            Surely the solution is to get insurance for escape of water. This has happened to me a few times. In most cases the damage to the flat below is minimal and will cost you only £200-£300 to fix. On one occasion the flat below me was empty and the first we know was when the owner noticed the ceilings had collapsed. Its these occasions that you need the insurance for, although as a first stage I think the advice is often to tell the owner below to claim on their own insurance.

            Comment


              #7
              Despite what many people seem to think, you're only liable for damage in the flat(s) below if the leak is caused by your negligence (which is very hard for anyone to prove).
              Plumbing sometimes breaks - the people below should insure against the risk of something unexpected but possible happening.

              If your tenant causes a flood, they're liable for the damage, not the landlord.

              I'm not saying that insurance isn't a great idea, but it shouldn't be top of the worry list.
              If you think the plumbing is dodgy address that issue.
              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).

              Comment


                #8
                If it is a flat it would be covered under the freeholders insurance, you need to just get contents insurance to cover your things, and advise the T to do the same as your insurance wont cover for their loss.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have changed my AST to make T responsible for damage to the flat below if they either cause it or fail to take action to limit the damage. Previous T sat and watched a leak while it soaked through to the flat below and even then didn't want to let me in to fix it. He got a S21.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks for this - I really appreciate everyone's time to help me.

                    Just to be clear - the freeholder has said that there is no insurance for escape of water (owing to some expensive claims several years ago providing this cover is now too expensive). So if my flat were to leak and damage another leaseholders flat downstairs, I wouldn't be liable unless they could prove that I was negligent?

                    Obviously if it was a small leak then I'd be happy to compensate them. It's the extent of my liability in such a case I'm trying to understand (and any steps I can reasonably take to prevent it).

                    Again, thanks for everyone's time.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I would always recommend getting a Sure-Stop stockcock fitted in rental properties. If the tenant has a simple switch to turn off the water to the flat in an emergency, they are much more likely to be able to do so before too much damage has happened.

                      Really, all upstairs flats should have the pipes installed in conduits and arrangements made for the conduits to drain away outside of the property. Similarly waste pipes should be in conduits or have a gutter underneath them to catch any water that leaks. Leaks are enevitable, so why don't our proeprties have better protection against them?

                      Leak alarms are certainly an option. There are battery operated ones, including one that is shaped like a frog and goes by the name of Leak Frog!

                      Comment

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