Ceiling Collapsed

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  • Ceiling Collapsed


    I'm a tenant in a 3 bedroomed house owned by property developers and have lived here since December 03. My only complaint is that they are very, very slow in doing any kind of repair work to the property and their rude, insulting attitude when asked to do so.

    On 2nd Aug of this year one of the bedroom ceilings started to leak really badly in several places. I notified the landlord of this problem who gave the advice to puncture the ceiling to allow the water to flow free. This was done and the amount of the water was unbelievable to the point where I didn't have enough buckets to collect it in. The landlord sent his two handymen round the next day to have a look and do minor repairs where needed. They discovered that the problem was a hole approx 6 inches in size in the roof of the house. The roof was apparently patched up with a black bin liner and the weight of the water had gotten too much causing it to pool and then come in through the ceiling. The repair needed was too major for the handymen to complete and they called the landlord and told him that an asap job was needed - I can clarify this as I was stood near them at the time. The hole was not covered and the buckets were emptied every time it rained.

    We contacted the landlord again about this problem to ask if they had arranged anything to get it fixed on the 8th Aug as we had heard nothing - nothing had been done about it. Nothing else happened concerning the repair until the 13th when the ceiling fell into the bedroom. The house is over 100 years old and it was the old lath and plaster that came into the room causing a major mess and damage to my property. The landlord was less than impressed to be told this as it was a weekend and they have no Emergency Helpline in place so he was contacted through his secretary on his mobile. His attitude towards me was less than desirable and very unhelpful.

    The next day he again sent his handymen round who decided that the rest of the ceiling needed to be pulled down for safety reasons. They did this without covering anything that was left in the room (due to lack of space to put these things) causing yet more damage to personal property. A roofer also came to have a look and then left. They came again on the 21st and said they would start on the 23rd. This was cancelled due to the weather and them deciding that they needed scaffolding to do the job. The scaffolding was erected on the 25th and the roofers started on the 29th.

    It was discovered that the whole of the roof on the back of the house needed redoing and that the dormer roof in the loft extension was so sodden that it was ready for collapse also. This bedroom window had been leaking but I thought that was a window problem not the roof. A job that the roofers said would take until the end of the week to complete took them until the 13th September.

    Needless to say more and more mess came into the house to accompany the dust and dirt already here, the back yard was also out of use due to the scaffolding that remained in situ until today 26th September.

    In all of this time I have seen the landlord once for a few minutes when he came in to look at the room on the 5th September. He took measurements of the room with the ceiling collapse as it needed plasterboard and carpeting. He was in and out that quick that it came to light eventually that he got the measurements totally wrong. The ceiling was replaced and plastered in one day (7th Sept) this was where it was discovered that the measurements were wrong as the plaster had to complete the job by bringing in more plasterboard to plug a 3ft x 10ft gap (approx). Needless to say neither group of workmen were impressed as they were not given proper instructions, the walls were badly damaged by the workmen who pulled the ceiling down and failed no time in telling me so. The work that day was eventually finished around 9pm.

    This fiasco continued when the decorator came in on the 15th as he was told it was a quick job what they failed to tell him was the state of the room itself as nobody had been in to clean it up. All the guy could do was pull up the carpet that had been left in there stinking the place out since the original collapse. He came back again on the 21st and finished the room on the 22nd.

    Work still remaining in that room is a new carpet laid and the fittings replaced including the light that the decorators managed to smash. The dormer room has not had the ceiling taken down and still remains in a state of collapse. Also the stair, dining room and living room carpets are needing to be cleaned due to copious amounts of workmen trapsing through with muddy/dirty boots. I have heard nothing further from the landlords other than the fact that they are refusing point blank to pay out for any damage caused to my property during this collapse and repair work. Some of which have had to be thrown out.

    We are and have been since the 13th Aug sleeping three people in one room, and have limited use of the landing area of the house due to bedroom furniture and toys been stored there.

    I know I have gone on here before getting to the questions I am seeking help with but I wanted to give you a full background to the problem so that an informed answer could be arrived at.


    1. Is the landlord liable for damage caused to my property?
    2. What is a reasonable timescale for this kind of repair?
    3. If you were the landlord/tenant in this position what would you have done?

    All answers will be greatly appreciated as thi whole fiasco has and is really getting all of us down.


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