Neighbouring Landlord Refusing Access

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    Neighbouring Landlord Refusing Access


    I have been a landlord in Scotland for a couple of years now and never used any forums, however I have an issue for which I cannot find an answer from online searching as most results focus on landlord access issues involving their own tenants, so apologies if this is in the wrong place. I am currently having problems with the landlord downstairs who claims that there is a leak from my flat down into his, however he is refusing to grant me or my plumber access in order to see the leak for myself. There is no evidence of a leak in my flat therefore I am unsure what my legal obligations are with regards to me having to pull out my kitchen to find the suspected leak. Here's the full story:

    I'm currently the landlord for a flat that I have been renting out for a couple of years. Previous to this I lived in the flat myself for a few years. The boiler in the flat has always been a bit temperamental so after the last gas safety certificate was due to be renewed I decided to get the boiler replaced. I hired a plumber who looked at the boiler and said it was totally fine and that the occasional drop in pressure *could* be a sign of a leak somewhere in the pipework, however there was no sign of any leaks in my kitchen or the rest of the flat. He proposed that I ask the landlord downstairs if there were any visible damp patches in his flat. The flat below had been unoccupied for a number of years but I still had the landlord's number. When I asked the landlord about damp patches he stated that there were indeed a couple of damp patches in his kitchen ceiling, near where the boiler would be. I found this quite surprising as I have owned the flat for around 7 years now and not once has he mentioned these damp patches before.

    When I told the plumber that there were apparently damp patches in the downstairs flat he said he would need to have access to the flat in order to look at the damp patches and evaluate them before starting to rip out my kitchen in the hope of finding them. However, although the landlord agreed to grant access to the plumber, over the next few weeks every attempt to organise a suitable time for the plumber to come over failed. The excuses from the landlord included my plumber lying about the agreed time, my plumber not turning up, or the landlord just being too busy. It really felt like he was trying to keep us out of the flat on purpose. The last message I left with the landlord was that it was up to him to give us a time and date for the plumber to access the flat and that I couldn't do anything else until then.

    I then didn't here anything for around six months or so until the landlord rang me up last week complaining about the damp patch again. Apparently he now had decorators in the flat and they confirmed the damp patch while they were painting. However, the landlord was talking to me as though we had never spoken before and that the fiasco with the plumber last year had never happened. When I stated that my plumber would need access to the flat he said that the law states I need to repair the leak through my floor and not through his ceiling, therefore the plumber doesn't need access. I clarified that my plumber just wanted access in order to evaluate the damp patch before ripping out my kitchen, as there was no evidence of a leak from any of my appliances. Eventually the landlord agreed to give my plumber access, which should be easier this time now that there would be decorators in the flat for the whole of that week and the following week (this week).

    The next day I rang my plumber to see if he was still willing to go round, at which point he said he was free Friday lunchtime. So I contacted the landlord to confirm that the decorators would be in at that time and he just came back saying that no one would be in the flat and didn't give any explanation as to why. Again, it really feels like the landlord is trying to keep me out of his flat for some unknown reason. I pressed him to give me another time and date and so far he has just asked me to leave it with him. However, I really don't want this hanging over me. If there is a leak, I want to fix it now and I don't want this landlord harassing me every 6 months or whenever he decides the damp patch has become a problem again.

    So here's my predicament. I feel like I have done everything in my power to help rectify this supposed leak, but the other landlord is currently preventing me from doing any further work. However, am I legally obliged to start tearing out my kitchen to find an unverified leak? He has not provided any photos or evidence of the leak other than his word. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Why don't you go round and take photos & measurements of the damp patches? Surely two grown men can agree a time to meet?


      Should be in Scottish section, will ask mods to move it. MODs, could you kindly please?

      Is there a Factor for the block of flats, if so ask them for help.

      Can the property chamber help (see item 43..)

      Slàinte mhath!
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...


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