Accidentally flooded my rented flat and caused damage to flats below

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  • Accidentally flooded my rented flat and caused damage to flats below

    Apologies for the long winded post but I just need to make sure I've given all the details.

    Earlier this week I woke up in the morning to find there was no water coming out of the cold water tap in my flat. I later found out this was because my water company had cut off the supply due to a leak in the area. As it was an emergency I was not notified.

    Moronically I forgot to turn the tap back off before leaving for work. I returned at lunchtime to find my bathroom, hall and bedroom flooded. Unfortunately I rent a 3rd floor flat, so the water leaked through to the flat directly below me, and the flat directly below them.

    All flats are tenanted.

    Now we currently have dehumidifiers in to dry the place out but I'm concerned about the lasting damage. The loss adjusters are coming in tomorrow to inspect all three flats.

    Here's what I expect the damage will be:

    My flat: Hallway carpets will need cleaning

    2nd floor flat: Carpets cleaning, floor in bathroom may need replacing, bed needs replacing, possible paintjob on ceiling, electrics tested

    Ground floor flat: I haven't seen the damage first hand, but I assume it will be similar to above, however I've been told they have all laminate flooring. They did not have any possessions damaged as far as I'm aware

    I've been as cooperative as I can be to all involved. I called my landlord and letting agency straight away and have been arranging the drying and loss inspectors to come to all three flats. Thankfully the tenants below have been very understanding.

    The bad news is, I rang my insurance and I have contents insurance but it doesn't cover accidental damage.

    I'm a bit in the dark as to what I could be liable for with regards to the carpet in my flat, the contents in the flat below. There is also a £250 excess to pay for the letting agent's insurance claim.

    Could anyone please shed any light?

  • #2
    You are a sub-tenant. Your L is probably either a long-leaseholder or the block's freeholder; either way, L has the benefit of a block insurance policy which may well include cover for accidental damage. So ask L (via Letting Agent) for a copy of it, to begin with, and read the small print especially.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
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    • #3
      Happened to me

      I unfortunately did not have insurance (lesson learnt).

      I was on the 5th Floor and there was damage to the flat underneath, I didn't think I was liable so did not pay.

      They then took me to court and I was liable as the tap was left on.

      Not pretty or enjoyable but I guess the fault was mine ... as they say, you only learn the hard way. I also felt quite embarrassed as it was pretty clear cut & they were decent people.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        You are a sub-tenant. Your L is probably either a long-leaseholder or the block's freeholder; either way, L has the benefit of a block insurance policy which may well include cover for accidental damage. So ask L (via Letting Agent) for a copy of it, to begin with, and read the small print especially.
        LL may well have insurance as you mention, but wont the insurance company, if they pay out, look to tenant who caused the damage for recompense?

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        • #5
          You've probably sorted it all out by now, but your contents insurance must cover water damage and that is not obviated by not having accidental damage. If you are only covered for damage done on purpose (which is the implication of what you wrote here) then you are daft but you can take action against whoever sold you the insurance for mis-selling.

          In fact, I think you misinterpreted "accidental damage."

          Comment

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