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Leak from another property

(55 Posts)
Ollivander84 Sat 10-Feb-18 17:17:26

I'm being deliberately vague!
So say you live in an apartment block. Plumber has confirmed the leak is from the upstairs apartment, but to fix it requires the boxing (MDF type) taking off around the bathroom upstairs
They refuse. So the leak can't be fixed. What are the rights of the downstairs flat as their flat is being damaged by the leak?
For ease, assume management company are as much use as a chocolate teapot

RagamuffinCat Sat 10-Feb-18 18:23:53

So the leak is on their property but is causing damage to yours?

Ollivander84 Sat 10-Feb-18 18:34:06

Yes. Apartments are the same layout both upstairs and downstairs. So the leak is coming through, has soaked the wall, some MDF bits that box pipes in and will need the whole bathroom repainting plus joiner to rebuild the MDF that's been ripped off to look for the leak
But the leak hasn't stopped, because they won't fix it. That's the short version. They don't want to "rip up their bathroom"

ronniebarkersauntie Sat 10-Feb-18 19:50:43

I think l my first call would be to talk to my insurer. They may be able to force the upstairs flat’s insurer to deal with it. Or if you have legal cover, you may get other advice about how to proceed. The added advantage is that it depersonalises the situation if it’s insurance company speaking to insurance company.

BigBlueOceanAlwaysThere Sat 10-Feb-18 20:05:23

I would approach the Management company /freeholder. It's damaging not only your flat but the in between area as well

RagamuffinCat Sat 10-Feb-18 20:08:54

Do you have home insurance with legal cover?

stuffstuffeverywhere Sat 10-Feb-18 20:12:12

Try the council.

Ollivander84 Sat 10-Feb-18 20:37:16

I'll try and answer!
Management company are useless - this has happened before in a different part of the apartment
Insurance is via management company so luckily we are all insured on the same insurance if that makes sense (buildings insurance)
This is the current situation in photo. I have a bucket to catch the water, the plumber can do no more to stop the leak and no repair work can be done until the leak is stopped

Ollivander84 Sat 10-Feb-18 20:38:47

Oh and plumber can't work upwards from below as concrete floors in between. I've notified insurance company but it was out of hours so not much help until Monday
Management company aware, said it's a "demised issue" their favourite words and contact the insurance as nothing to do with them like most things

Dadsussex Sat 10-Feb-18 21:46:10

Contact the insurer, it’ll be an escape of water peril.

The fact is one property has an escape of water to another property and it will be covered.

If the other apprentment owner refuses access the insurer will find a way of compelling them to allow access / via legal route if needed.

I assume your block insurance policy will have accidental damage cover and in that case it’ll be likely the pipe where the leak comes from won’t be covered (that’ll be wear and tear) but everything else including the boxing for their pipes will be covered

If no accidental cover then that creates a problem for the other apartment owner but not for you

The insurers will also likely force the managing company to step up and do what they are contracted to do

Ollivander84 Sat 10-Feb-18 21:54:36

Yeah I've opened a claim. The leak isn't causing them problems as such and they're very much "well our floor is dry" but the leak is leaking within the boxing so not visible. The MDF boxing in mine was sodden through. Plumber has been great and not charged me anything as he was so astounded!

SheepySheepy Sun 11-Feb-18 14:59:50

Cannot believe the cheek of some people. We had a similar situation but were the leak-ers, I was mortified and called an emergency plumber. flowers

Penfold007 Sun 11-Feb-18 15:06:24

Does either the block building policy or you own contents insurance offer a legal helpline? If so ring the helpline first thing Monday morning.

viktoria Sun 11-Feb-18 19:24:21

We had a similar situation. Upstairs flat were extremely difficult in giving access. Their management company/estate agent had booked a plumber but couldn't get access to the flat. After 6 days of water leaking I called the police. They spoke with the estate agent, said they needed to provide access within the next hour. If this wouldn't happen I would call the fire brigade and they might get charged for that call out.
Nothing happened, so called the fire brigade, they gained access through a first floor window and let the plumber in who switched off the water.
Apart from the water damage, a leak can cause damage to your electrics which in turn could cause a fire.
I would suggest, call the fire brigade. (They didn't charge for the call out by the way).
This all happened the week before Christmas and I'm now chasing the insurance company to accept my quotes to rectify the damage.
We had various leaks in the last two years and the upstairs owner couldn't care less.
I was advised if this happens again to contact the environmental health office.
Good luck

Ollivander84 Sun 11-Feb-18 19:39:30

They will give access but won't allow work to be done. I suspect they will let their own plumber, but that's reliant on their plumber coming to my flat to see the problem as their bathroom appears fine. It's not, it's just disguised by the boxing and probably rotting their floor

viktoria Mon 12-Feb-18 00:50:44

If the leak continues, it might affect your electrics. Why don't you call the fire brigade to ask for their advice?
In my case the fire brigade said they would have turned off the water supply to the flat above if there hadn't been a plumber to do that.

I felt awkward as I thought I might be wasting police/fire brigade time, but they totally reassured me that it was the right thing to do to contact them.

Ollivander84 Mon 12-Feb-18 08:44:52

Fire brigade wouldn't come out last time (yes, I've been in exactly the same situation before!!)
Plumber said if it starts pouring then yes to ring them but it's more a steady drip at the minute. Appears it's been going for some time as it's thick MDF and was absolutely sodden through
Will be ringing insurance at some point today and have sent a strongly worded message to management company along the lines of "acceptable if leak is not known about, now aware of leak and this has now become wilful damage to my property and the structure of the building"

viktoria Mon 12-Feb-18 11:31:51

How frustrating! Hope you get a resolution soon.

Ollivander84 Mon 12-Feb-18 12:14:55

Insurance will cover it, but they can't organise repairs until the leak is fixed 🙄🙄

SheepySheepy Mon 12-Feb-18 12:20:31

This is ridiculous. I'd be going down the route of trying to force the managing agent to do something - assume they act on behalf of the freeholder?

Get on the leasehold advisory forums, there should be someone with legal experience who can tell you how to theaten engage them. Or get in touch with a conveyancer with leasehold experience? It will cost something, but probably not loads.

Stupid. Eventually it will damage the building and or electrics and everyone will have to pay to fix it.

Ollivander84 Mon 12-Feb-18 12:32:16

Yeah we pay a fee monthly to the management company, it covers also repairs to common areas, upkeep and buildings insurance. I own, and neighbour above owns
The last leak saga went on for months, and the assessor person felt that sorry for me they redecorated my entire open plan living room and kitchen!

kirinm Mon 12-Feb-18 13:44:30

Neighbour might find themselves in breach of their policy terms and therefore uninsured. Are they under the same policy as you?

Ollivander84 Mon 12-Feb-18 14:23:12

Yes, same management company and same buildings insurance
I've used the words "known and wilful damage" today wink

WorriedAndTired Mon 12-Feb-18 14:37:47

‘Failing to act to minimise insured loss’ is another one to use

I had a —bastard— neighbour like that too.
We fixed and sold up

kirinm Mon 12-Feb-18 15:42:05

You should be pushing the landlord. The neighbour is likely to have some obligation under their lease to take steps to minimise damage / loss etc. Unfortunately you can't force compliance with the lease but the freeholder can. You pay the freeholder a service charge for them to look after the property and them ignoring the issue is in breach of their obligations to you under your lease. I'd be hassling the freeholder if I was you.

I'd also put something in writing to the neighbour. Advise them that their failure to take any action amounts to a nuisance and if you incur any costs that aren't covered by insurance, you'll seek recovery of those costs from them directly.

Alternatively, if the problem continues, you'll need to pay someone to sort the leak from your end even if that means damaging the concrete floor and then sue the neighbour.

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