Water leakage - mould - replacement off the whole floor in the flat

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    Water leakage - mould - replacement off the whole floor in the flat

    My flat (fairly new conversion) had a leaking water pipe (apparently for months) resulting water leaking in the two flats below. But the worst thing is my flat.

    3 month ago the vinyl in the bathroom was removed and all wood underneath is black with mould. A dehumidifyer was for weeks in there and the landlady did nothing for said 3 month. At last she sorted things with the insurance but I had to live with the filth and mould.

    A few weeks ago a surveyor came and said that the vinyl in the bathroom,the laminate in the rest of the flat and depending on the damage the soundproofing etc. has to be replaced. For today I had to clear the bedroom and all my stuff is now in the living room and I can barely move. Today builders came and ripped the laminate and everything else off in the bedroom. Some of the wood and the yellow filling material (have not idea what that is called) is still wet and half of the wood in the bedroom was mouldy. The builders left for today and will buy material to fix the bedroom and over the next days the hall, bathroom and living room/kitchen will be assessed and what needs replacement will be replaced. All considered this will take at least one week where I have to move my belongings from one room to the next without having a proper place to sleep. I hope the bathroom can be done in one day.

    The whole flat smells disgusting and I am utterly unhappy. The landlady has not offered a compensation and says that her insurance will not pay unless the flat is uninhabitable. Easy said, she does not live in this conditions. I have paid all the time the full rent.

    Can I claim compensation, when yes from whom and how much. I have plenty of pictures taken.

    Any suggestions on how to proceed are welcome.

    Thank you!

    #2
    It sound smost unpleasant and I'm sorry you're having to put up with it. However, at least it is being remedied and soon you will have a nice, clean, newly-refurbished flat to live in.

    I agree that the LL should refund your rent for the week at the least - but that would be something you would only achieve through negotitation, I suspect; it's not a statutory obligation unless the flat is genuinely uninhabitable (e.g. after gutting by fire, bare electrical cables everywhere, or bug-ridden).

    I suggest you move in with a friend/relative for the week and keep pressure up on LL for a refund, pointing out that it is your goodwill he risks to lose. (How badly does he want to keep you as a tenant?). You could sue for compensation, but I think it would be throwing good money after bad. It's only a week or so, when all's said and done.

    If the leak was caused by builder error during the orignal refurb, cna he not claim all costs back form the builder, inc. compensation to you? Just a thought.

    Penny, just out of interest, where are you from originally? Are the laws about the condition of rented property stricter there, so you think?
    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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      #3
      Just for clarity with regard to compensation. English/Welsh courts may award damages in situations like this (if one sues for them) but they will only award for actual financial loss - there is no element of profit for the claimant. In a case like this, one may be able to argue that in these conditions, the rent should have been less, so the actual financial loss there would be the difference between the actual rent paid, and the amount that a judge agrees is appropriate for a property suffering these 'temporary' defects. If one thinks hard enough, it is possible to think of several such 'financial losses', but suing the landord isn't going to make you rich.

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        #4
        Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
        It sound smost unpleasant and I'm sorry you're having to put up with it. However, at least it is being remedied and soon you will have a nice, clean, newly-refurbished flat to live in.

        I agree that the LL should refund your rent for the week at the least - but that would be something you would only achieve through negotitation, I suspect; it's not a statutory obligation unless the flat is genuinely uninhabitable (e.g. after gutting by fire, bare electrical cables everywhere, or bug-ridden).

        I suggest you move in with a friend/relative for the week and keep pressure up on LL for a refund, pointing out that it is your goodwill he risks to lose. (How badly does he want to keep you as a tenant?). You could sue for compensation, but I think it would be throwing good money after bad. It's only a week or so, when all's said and done.

        If the leak was caused by builder error during the orignal refurb, cna he not claim all costs back form the builder, inc. compensation to you? Just a thought.

        Penny, just out of interest, where are you from originally? Are the laws about the condition of rented property stricter there, so you think?
        I am from Germany, and even if people here don't want to hear it, problems like this rarely exist in Germany, meaning the quality of the work is exceptional and if something occurs there are lists where you can roughly estimate how much rent should be reduced. You don't need to go to court, it is a matter of courtesy that you get damages paid.

        And I am paying an extortionate amount of money (like many people in London) for a tiny flat, therefore I expect a clean flat where everything works and not a black mould hazard zone. I am not an expert on mould growth, but I would say that the original builders 2.5 years ago did a sloppy job. There was a water leakage when I moved in and they never found the source and just exchanged some pipes. The flat above me had also problems with the water pipes, they did not connect the pipes for the washing machine so after a few spin cycles it disconnected itself and water was running through the ceiling. They used the wrong pipe size for waste water and it had to be exchanged. I have a gap in a wall above a door and it tears apart so that door doesn't close properly ... this is a newly converted/build house. Problems to this extend should not exist. Period.

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          #5
          Whilst I think you will be aware that we are sympathetic to your situation, it is no use comparing what would have happened in Germany with what has happened here. You need to look at your situation and deal with it in the most practical manner available to you in England. Mind The Gap has given you excellent advice - it is now up to you what you do with that advice.

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