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to be suspicious of this?

(8 Posts)
boundarybabe Wed 07-Oct-09 07:51:17

I live in a flat above a commercial property. To cut a long story short, there have been quite a few problems since we moved in with leaks - both into our flat from above and from our flat and our neighbours' flats into the commercial premises downstairs. I think this might in part be due to some building work that went on a few years ago which involved a demolition next door and which (I think) caused movement in the pipes and fixtures - in any case we have been doing our best to deal with it - there have been a few recurring problems and some isolated incidents (eg. washing machine disasters, a burst pipe last year).

There is a leak that has recurred a few times from my neighbour's flat - I think it must be coming from her bathroom but she has had numerous plumbers and builders out and no-one has been able to trace the source. It happened last Autumn and has recurred now hmm. Now, in all honesty I think this is a problem with her plumbing that just hasn't been found. But, a little part of me is starting to wonder if the commercial tenants have got anything to do with it. Perhaps to over egg the problems so they can get us all thrown out? We are under a head lease so if the freeholder took action it would affect everyone.

This may sound overly paranoid - but last night I was woken up by noises from downstairs - my first thought was burglars but there were no alarms going off - the business is such that there are occasions when there may be someone called out at night. But it would be very unusual for them to be in the area under my flat as that wouldn't be used at night. Plus what I could hear was clearly someone buggering about directly under my bathroom. It sounded like someone was messing about with the ceiling tiles - the sound was too close to be anything else IYSWIM. I emailed my managing agent immediately just to record it and I'm very interested to see if my bathroom has sprung a leak overnight. And if so, what exactly were they doing underneath at 12.45am?

Does this sound like I'm becoming overly suspicious? Or do you think it would be sensible to keep this possibility in mind?

3littlefrogs Wed 07-Oct-09 07:54:43

Is it a cannabis factory?

We have them all over our part of london. Rented properties, building work,coming and going at odd times....then you discover they have rerouted the plumbing, built airvents, installed extra heating and lighting and turned the place into a giant polytunnel. It is a huge problem.

flier Wed 07-Oct-09 07:55:22

I think you're right to be suspicious. Are you on speaking terms with the people in the commercial property? May be worth asking them what the hell was going on in their property at this time of day.

BooingTheBestICan Wed 07-Oct-09 07:56:06

Sounds a bit weird to me too,i wonder what they would gain though from having you all move out?

They might well have had to come out in the night for a genuine reason but i think it would be wise to keep an eye on things.

3littlefrogs Wed 07-Oct-09 07:56:18

Or it could be exactly what you have said - they are tinkering with the plumbing to make life so difficult that you move. It isn't unheard of.

boundarybabe Wed 07-Oct-09 08:05:26

Hmm, glad I don't sound too bonkers! I'm certain it isn't a cannabis factory - I have been in the room in question - I'm actually on v. good terms with the employees, it's more their managing agents (who work for the freeholder) who are quite arsey. I can understand how irritating it must be for them to have so many problems with leaks etc. Their leaseholder has several properties and none suffer as much as this one with water coming in! BUT, they are so bloody difficult. They demanded that my neighbour resurface her balcony because of damp problems underneath. But then they bitch about the scaffolding and the building work that goes with it. This particular leak could be much more easily traced if they were willing to let our building go through their ceiling to have a proper look. But that never happens.

hotpotato11 Wed 07-Oct-09 10:22:45

But how could tampering with plumbing below your floor possibly create a leak upwards into your flat ?
Commercial premises often do their maintenance work at night so as not to disturb their busibness operations.

boundarybabe Wed 07-Oct-09 10:36:43

hotpotato - what I suspect is that they're tampering with plumbing to create leaks into their property, thus building a case against us.

I also know it wasn't maintenance work, as it's a small shop and we generally agree when work happens.

Without going into too much detail, there are a lot of reasons that I suspect them of causing trouble. I suspect the freeholders would like the head lease back and need a reason to get it.

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