Tenant delay in reporting/fixing drip under sink ruined kitchen floor

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    Tenant delay in reporting/fixing drip under sink ruined kitchen floor

    Hi All,
    I'm the landlord of a small 2-bed flat in Bristol. I currently have some tenants in there on a 9-month lease ending this June (students). They reported to me last night that there appears to be a leak in the kitchen. I went by today to take a look and in looking under the sink, the connection to the washing machine has worked its way loose and is dripping. The drips were coming every second or so. The cupboard under the sink was sopping wet.

    There is water now seeping out the edges of the vinyl flooring in the kitchen and the plaster on one of the walls has started to bubble, so clearly this has been going on for a while.

    I reached under the sink and tightened up the washing machine connection by hand and it has stopped the leak. The connection was quite obviously loose and the drips falling were pretty obvious once the contents of the cupboard were removed.

    I have a nasty feeling I'm going to have to get the vinyl flooring taken up and possibly replaced in order to get rid of the water underneath. The flooring goes partly underneath the built-in cupboards and appliances and so would basically involve taking most of the kitchen out to do so.

    Who is liable for the repair costs? I know as landlord I have a responsibility for the workings of the water, but as tenants they have to act in a 'tenant like fashion'. Which I presume means either fixing the leak (tightening the washing machine connector) or reporting the leak in a timely manner... not many weeks after it started and now a major repair.

    Any advice?


    If the tenants were unaware of the leak until now then I'm afraid you will have to bear the cost. Only if you can prove otherwise would it be the tenants' responsibility.
    The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


      I guess that is going to be the hard part. I think that maybe they didn't know as they are fairly clueless to be honest ("Why is the heating not working?" "Because you switched it off at the wall" "We switched it off to save electricity"). I guess the question is should they have noticed it? I mean looking at it it is fairly obvious that something is not right.



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