Water Damage to Property Below - who pays?

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    Water Damage to Property Below - who pays?

    Dear Folks

    I have done a search but not been able to find anything…

    A colleague of mine has rented a property. She installed a new washing machine, which was professionally fitted. The water pressure has caused a leak on a joint which has caused damage to the property below.

    The Landlord’s lawyers has written to her advising that she will be liable to the tune of £1400+.

    I was wondering where she stands. Surely the Landlord would have sufficet insurance to cover such damage and my friend would be obliged to pay the excess-fee.

    Any ideas or advice?

    Andrew at Chesney.org

    Please clarify. Is your colleague a tenant and the colleague has installed their own washing machine?


      Sorry...I am new to this.

      My colleague is the tennant. She purcahsed the washing machine and took reasonable precautions of having it installed by a "qualified plumber".

      The Landord has passed the flat below cliam direct to my friend...

      Carpet and vinyl flooring £665
      Two slice toaster £22.49
      Stainless Steel kettle £24.99
      Steam iron £19.99
      Radio £34.99
      Belling Electric Cooker £374.00
      Coffee Maker £34.99
      Vax Vacuum Cleaner £149.99
      Juice Extractor £33.26
      Oli Filled Radiator £43.22
      sandwich Toaster £8.97

      In a letter the Landlord has wriiten to the flat below stating (in part):
      "The washing machine in the flat is NOT my property... Miss G??? is responsible...it is not my (landlord) responsibility. It is certainly hoped that the block insurance of [the Flats] will bear the costs of any necessary repairs to the flats affected by the water leak..."

      Any HELP would be appreciated.



        I am no expert but would expect the flat below to claim off their contents insurerance. Alternatively, they could take your friend to small claims court seeking redress. Your friend could then sue the plumber.

        I think insurance should deal with this.



          Sorry, I don't have an answer to which I can point to any legislation or laws.

          My thoughts are to ask the landlord if this scenario is covered by the block's buildings insurance policy.

          Has the leak been cured?

          Out of curiosity, was the plumbing for the washing machine already in place when the tenant moved in?

          I think it's very unfair to ask the innocent soaked occupier below to claim off their own contents insurance and face increased premiums and then have to declare this for the next five years. Don't even get me started on that one!


            The tenant's home insurance should cover this kind of situations however I believe the plumber should pay for the damage: the tenant paid for a service which wasn't satisfactory.


              Originally posted by adchesney View Post
              A colleague of mine has rented a property. She installed a new washing machine, which was professionally fitted. The water pressure has caused a leak on a joint which has caused damage to the property below.Andrew at Chesney.org
              On a technical side why was the water pressure too high?

              Firstly the local water authority has an obligation to supply a pressure within certain tolerances (min and max) Secondly the washing machine manufacturers specify that domestic appliances have to be supplied with a min. and max. Pressure, the water valves in the appliance also have pressure restrictors if the pressure is to high.

              Did the plumber check the pressure? If he knew the pressure to be excessively high did he inform you? Or take action to inform the authority?

              IMO I think that the plumber has a lot of responsibility here, you say he is a professional, if that is the case he will carry a liability insurance, but a word of caution here, you do not say how long a period had elapsed from when the installation was done and when the flood damage was noticed, it would be unreasonable to try and apportion the blame on the plumber if this period was several months.

              As a footnote………
              What I would suggest to everyone is that unless the appliance is "built in", pull it out from under the worktop on a regular basis and check for leaks, BUT switch off the electricity supply first, if you cannot switch it off because the switch is not accessible then get this sorted also.
              If the appliance will not pull out because the hoses are to tight then get a plumber to install it correctly, the hoses are flexible and are there for you to withdraw the machine for servicing, NOT for plumbers to have an easier job installing!!!!


                I think the two persons who should be directly responsible for the damages are your friend and the plumber. You tell your friend to contact the plumber (hopefully he's insured) to pay for the damage. As long as your friend have not fitted a new washing machine somewhere it shouldn't be then it should not be her fault.

                Good luck.


                  the list of items that needed replacing seems very dodgy.....


                    What did the landlord say when the question was asked about fitting the washing machine? Sounds like he is trying to blame all others - maybe quite rightly. But did he give permission and did he seem satisfied with the work done, or did he just let it all go ahead without taking any interest.
                    Surely most landlords would want to know if anything added to their property was fitted correctly.


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