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Can anyone help? Ceiling damage after heavy rain

(10 Posts)
stargirl04 Tue 12-Aug-14 08:42:30

Hi, hoping someone can help.

I recently bought a top floor leasehold flat and about 3 weeks ago heavy rain caused my kitchen ceiling to leak, with water dripping on the floor.

I called the management company and they said they would send someone round. At this stage there were some small brown stains on the ceiling but it didn't look like a really bad problem.

The contractors came round about a week later, went in the loft and identified a problem in the roof of the building over my flat. They came down and said they needed to get a part to fix the problem and organise a cherry picker to carry out the work.

They said they hoped to get the part by the following Tuesday (which was last week), but weren't sure how long this would take, and would I be okay till then? I said yes, as I am clueless (clearly) - the rain had stopped, and the water had stopped dripping.

However, the men did not come back to me about the part they needed to fix the roof the following week (last week), and I didn't pursue them as they said they wouldn't know exactly when they could get the part and I thought they must know what they are doing as they deal with this kind of thing all the time.

I went away this weekend, having forgotten about the leak, came home and the leak was much worse - a big puddle on the floor, and the ceiling stain was at least twice as big.

I rang the management company back to report it and they wanted to send someone round but I had to go to work (I work nights) and had only just come back home briefly to check on everything.

I am freelance and work in a small dept and absolutely could not just not go in as I would be dumping my boss in the s**t. In retrospect, I should have called him and explained I would be very late, but didn't dare.

I did not have anyone who could be home for me (I live alone) and told the management company and they said they would send someone first thing the next day (ie. today) when I am off work.

I realise this was a mistake as when I got home last night the ceiling stain was even bigger, is soaking wet and the ceiling is sagging where the ugly brown damp patch is, so my ceiling has been damaged.

Now what do I do and who is responsible for payment and repairs of the ceiling, as it will need repainting? Will my home insurance cover it or will they refuse to pay because it's my fault for not staying home to wait in for the workmen and for going to work instead?

Am kicking myself for being so stupid!!. Any help or advice greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.

MrsSquirrel Tue 12-Aug-14 10:13:28

It's not your fault that the roof is leaking!

The buildings insurance should cover the water damage, that would include the re-painting. Check the terms of your lease, but it's usually the freeholder who has responsibility for the buidlings insurance. You shouldn't have to pay out. The management company is responsible for organising the work and claiming on the insurance, that's what they are employed to do. Keep phoning them, be polite, but make sure they know it's an urgent problem. The rain forecast to continue for the rest of the week.

I had something similar happen to me, only it was a ground floor flat and the leak was from the flat above. They had to take out the whole ceiling, then let everything dry out, then put in a new ceiling, then decorate. It all went on for a few months, including drying time, but the insurance paid for everything.

stargirl04 Wed 13-Aug-14 09:49:49

Hi Mrs Squirrel and thanks for replying to me. I would have replied to you last night but work was non-stop crazy (I work nights).

I really appreciate your advice. I've spoken spoke to the management company yesterday and they gave me the details of their insurers - and I am the one expected to ring them and chase it all up! I've opened a claim with their insurer.

The management company told me that they are responsible for the external building and communal parts and I am responsible for the interior of my flat.

The insurers recommended that I have an electrician check that the electrics are safe but the management company said that was something they would not cover.

Once again, many thanks.

concernedaboutheboy Wed 13-Aug-14 09:56:35

Balls to that. If their failure to maintain the roof has caused damage to the interior of your flat then either they, or the freeholder if different, areiable.

This mgmt company sound like they are trying it on big-time. Please don't roll over. Hope you get it sorted soon sad

stargirl04 Wed 13-Aug-14 09:58:55

Quick update - the roofer who works for the management company is quite helpful and said he will pay for the electrician and claim the cost back from the management company.

stargirl04 Wed 13-Aug-14 10:00:00

The electrician is his mate and they work in partnership, in case anyone's wondering why a roofer would want to pay an electrician .....

stargirl04 Wed 13-Aug-14 10:02:30

Oh, and also - sorry to keep posting these afterthoughts - the roofer said the damage has been caused as a result of tiles blowing off the slightly higher roof of the block next door, which is owned by a housing association, and they "have not repaired their roof properly".

MrsSquirrel Wed 13-Aug-14 12:26:00

Well if the damage was caused by next door, it's up to the freeholders/the management company acting on their behalf/their insurers to sort it out. If they decide to pursue the housing association/their insurers, that's their business. You still should not have to pay anything.

I agree with concerned - The management company are trying it on. Don't roll over.

stargirl04 Wed 13-Aug-14 14:49:28

I'm obviously naive, but I don't understand why the management company would try it on? In all other respects they seem a decent company, and efficient.

concernedaboutheboy Wed 13-Aug-14 15:49:28

So that they don't have to spend any money/claim on their insurance/ do any actual work. You may be able in the long run to ditch the management co under the 'right to manage' arrangements by the way.

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