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Our ceiling collapsed due to leak from upstairs flat - should they pay half our excess??

9 replies

bouncingblueberries · 02/07/2008 09:12

Bit of a dilemma here. The ceiling in our 2nd bedroom collapsed a couple of weekends ago due to a leak from the flat upstairs. Half the ceiling came down causing an almighty mess and ds has been sleeping in our room ever since . So lots of stress and inconvenience. Whole room will have to be redecorated, existing ceiling ripped down (what remains) and new ceiling put up as well as a new carpet (yippee!)

Now, the leak that caused all the damage wasn't actually the fault of our upstairs neighbour. All down to shoddy plumbing installed years ago - leak probably been going for about 2 years.

DH is convinced that out of common courtesy, the neighbours should pay half our excess (not a huge amount - 150 pounds, but 150 pounds we hadn't budgeted for). But I don't want to cause any bad feelings or arguments between us and I'm pretty sure asking them will do just that.

What would you do, oh wise mumsnetters?

OP posts:
ChopsTheDuck · 02/07/2008 09:14

did either of you know there was a leak?

I'd have thought if it was their pipes leaking, it was their responsibility and that they should pay the whole lot, personally.

cmotdibbler · 02/07/2008 09:16

If they had caused the leak by leaving a bath running or whatever, then I think you could ask them for the excess - but in this case its not their fault at all, so I think it would be a bit cheeky. Sorry !

throckenholt · 02/07/2008 09:18

I would have thought if it was their leak then it should be their insurance and not yours that covers the cost. Not sure what the rules are for shared buildings but worth checking.

edam · 02/07/2008 09:18

Of course they should pay for it! The whole thing - the leak is their fault. Even if it was to do with shoddy plumbing, it's their plumbing that they are responsible for. That's the deal when you own property.

Their insurers should be covering your costs. Get the contact details from the neighbour. (If you claim on yours, your premium may go up.) It may end up with your insurer talking to their insurer - I'd notify yours, explain what happened and give them the other insurer's details.

throckenholt · 02/07/2008 09:19

didn't read the bit where you said it wasn't their fault. Who owns the pipes ? They should be liable even if they did not install them.

edam · 02/07/2008 09:20

Reminds me, when we lived in a flat, our upstairs neighbour flooded our bedroom. Turned out he had had a leak for a week but just put a rubber plant under it, the idiot. (Need a 'doh!' emotion.) AND that he had noticed previously that the flat roof above his kitchen was in such disrepair it had bushes growing out of it. We couldn't even see the ruddy roof from our flat so had no idea.

margoandjerry · 02/07/2008 09:43

Wouldn't this come from the buildings insurance so the excess would not be for either of you to pay but for the building centrally to pay? Assuming you have service charges etc?

I caused a leak into my neighbour's flat last year (actually not really my fault as a hidden pipe had burst and I didn't know anything about it). The whole thing was dealt with through our buildings insurance with the excess added to the service charge.

You def shouldn't pay.

bouncingblueberries · 02/07/2008 10:13

Well, the ceiling and associated repairs is being sorted out by the building insurance. But, we're not in a block of flats as such, just a large Edwardian type property that's been converted into 2 flats. Both flats are leasehold and the freeholder isn't interested so we just sort everything out ourselves (no maintenance charge or anything).

We're claiming for the carpet on our contents insurance (100 pound excess) and the other 50 pound is excess from the buildings insurance. Upstairs have no contents insurance - because they told us they have nothing of value so there would be no other insurance policy to claim from.

I think we should just pay up and forget about it. After all, we will have a lovely newly decorated room, even if it has totally disrupted our lives.

OP posts:
woodstock3 · 12/07/2008 17:18

this happened to us - leak from upstairs' boiler brought down our kitchen ceiling, our upstairs neighbours claimed on their insurance and paid our builder with it. i think we agreed to split the excess between us as it was only 100 quid or so. if you hve a generally good relationship with them would probably not risk ruining it for sake of half of £50, but i do think you are being nice claiming your carpet on your contents insurance - new flooring would be covered by the buildings insurance claim surely?

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