Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • richdeniro
    • By richdeniro 28th Sep 17, 8:10 PM
    • 269Posts
    • 166Thanks
    richdeniro
    Leak from my flat into flat below
    • #1
    • 28th Sep 17, 8:10 PM
    Leak from my flat into flat below 28th Sep 17 at 8:10 PM
    I'm sure this kind of thing has been asked several times before but just wanted to check.

    Around a month ago the outflow pipe for the shower/bath underneath my bathtub leaked and caused part of the ceiling of the flat below to collapse. As soon as I was notified by the lady who rents the flat below I immediately called a plumber and had the leak fixed within a couple of days. I also obviously did not use the shower or bath until the leak was fixed.

    We have buildings insurance through the management company of the property but upon looking at details I didn't bother claiming on the insurance as the plumber cost £200 and the excess on the insurance for water damage was £350.

    Today I received a voicemail from the estate agent who the lady below rents from saying that they had quotes for the repair of the ceiling and that 'it wasn't going to be a very cheap repair' so could I give them a call back as they wanted to see if I would like to proceed through my insurance company.

    From researching around the internet as the leak was a complete accident that I had no knowledge of I would not be negligent and so the landlord of the flat below should be the one putting the claim in for the insurance.

    I would of course out of a goodwill gesture pay for half the excess but just wanted to check that I should not be putting the insurance claim for the ceiling below in?
Page 2
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 29th Sep 17, 1:42 PM
    • 5,532 Posts
    • 5,223 Thanks
    eddddy
    Due to the letting agent being so difficult I am tempted to leave out the goodwill gesture and just reply with:

    Hi There
    Due to the leak being an accident and beyond my control I am not negligent and so am not liable for the insurance claim.
    Kind regards.

    Any thoughts?
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    If you want, I guess you could add a link to some relevant information. e.g. This Insurance company's page about water leaks:

    ...the upstairs flat owner would need to be proved legally negligent in their actions to be held responsible for the costs. In most cases, the leak is just an unfortunate accident or unplanned incident in which case no one can be held legally responsible.

    Link: https://www.ashburnham-insurance.co.uk/claims/escape-of-water-leaks-in-flats/
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 29th Sep 17, 1:45 PM
    • 11,196 Posts
    • 15,643 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Due to the letting agent being so difficult I am tempted to leave out the goodwill gesture and just reply with:

    Hi There
    Due to the leak being an accident and beyond my control I am not negligent and so am not liable for the insurance claim.
    Kind regards.

    Any thoughts?
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    You could just ignore them. If there isn't a contents insurance claim then I don't know why the letting agency is saying you will have to make a claim on your insurance. If it's going to be a "very expensive" repair then let the leaseholder below raise a claim with the communal buildings insurance policy.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • Soundgirlrocks
    • By Soundgirlrocks 29th Sep 17, 2:25 PM
    • 450 Posts
    • 649 Thanks
    Soundgirlrocks
    It doesn't matter how many times you say the OP is liable, legally he is not because it was an accident. I don't need to think about it or compare the OP's situation with a car accident. You're comparing apples with oranges.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    Its not, it does't matter if it was accidental or deliberate the OP property (his pipes) caused damage to his neighbour property. He is responsible. It might be that the service charge covers the excess, but it certainly won't be all down to the poor sod who's flat has been damaged.

    https://www.lease-advice.org/article/water-is-leaking-from-my-neighbours-flat-and-damaging-mine-who-should-pay-for-it/#

    "The excess on buildings insurance will either be recoverable from the party responsible for the leak or all leaseholders through the service charge depending on whether it is a “fault based claim” and on the wording of the lease."

    As I said right at the start OP and the owner of the flat downstairs need to speak to the managing agent.

    You could just ignore them. If there isn't a contents insurance claim then I don't know why the letting agency is saying you will have to make a claim on your insurance. If it's going to be a "very expensive" repair then let the leaseholder below raise a claim with the communal buildings insurance policy.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    Because it is well established letting agents know nothing about property.
    Last edited by Soundgirlrocks; 29-09-2017 at 2:32 PM.
    • Kevie192
    • By Kevie192 29th Sep 17, 2:33 PM
    • 1,132 Posts
    • 2,532 Thanks
    Kevie192
    Contents insurance will not cover plaster/paint repairs etc which is what OP said was damaged.

    The damage originated from the OP's property (their poorly maintained pipes) therefor they are responsible for the excess - think about it as if it were a car accident. Car A is sat at traffic lights, Car B hits Car A because their breaks failed, Car B is responsible for the accident. Car B's insurance would ultimately pay the excess on Car A's policy (it might be car A pays and then their insurance claims it back from B on A's behalf).

    Ultimately OP could be difficult and it would be for the owner of the flat downstairs to take them to small claims court to claim the excess back but cheaper and simpler to pay it now.
    Originally posted by Soundgirlrocks
    What?! That's not how car insurance works at all.

    My insurance would pay for anything my fault. The other party's insurance would pay for the whole thing if it was their fault. How would an insurance company price for whatever idiots may drive into their policyholder and cost them thousands?
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 29th Sep 17, 2:44 PM
    • 11,196 Posts
    • 15,643 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Its not, it does't matter if it was accidental or deliberate the OP property (his pipes) caused damage to his neighbour property. He is responsible. It might be that the service charge covers the excess, but it certainly won't be all down to the poor sod who's flat has been damaged.

    https://www.lease-advice.org/article/water-is-leaking-from-my-neighbours-flat-and-damaging-mine-who-should-pay-for-it/#

    "The excess on buildings insurance will either be recoverable from the party responsible for the leak or all leaseholders through the service charge depending on whether it is a “fault based claim” and on the wording of the lease."
    Originally posted by Soundgirlrocks

    Did you read the whole article you linked to?
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 29th Sep 17, 3:22 PM
    • 6,084 Posts
    • 7,829 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    Due to the letting agent being so difficult I am tempted to leave out the goodwill gesture and just reply with:

    Hi There
    Due to the leak being an accident and beyond my control I am not negligent and so am not liable for the insurance claim.
    Kind regards.

    Any thoughts?
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    Well, I'd start it "Dear Sirs" rather than "Hi There" and perhaps word it

    "Unfortunately, the leak was caused by an accident, and not as a result of any negligence on my part. As such, I am not liable for the damage and the tenant or landlord of the flat will need to to make a claim on their own insurance. "
    • Soundgirlrocks
    • By Soundgirlrocks 29th Sep 17, 3:53 PM
    • 450 Posts
    • 649 Thanks
    Soundgirlrocks
    Did you read the whole article you linked to?
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    Yes I read the whole article. It could be argued that OP is negligent for not maintaining the plumbing in their property. (Just as with the car analogy if owner of the car hasn't maintained their breaks)

    I would be interested why you are so adamant that the OP has no responsibility just because the damage wasn't deliberate.
    • starving artist
    • By starving artist 29th Sep 17, 7:55 PM
    • 629 Posts
    • 6,208 Thanks
    starving artist
    I have had a letting agent claim that you are not just liable if negligence can be proved - you have a legal duty of care to prevent escape of water .... but then a search on google brings this up:

    No liability for escape of water from a cracked pipe (Court of Appeal)
    Transco v Stockport MBC and Reddish Vale Golf Club v Stockport MBC, 16 February 2001 (Court of Appeal).
    There was no liability under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher (or otherwise in nuisance or negligence) where water escaped from a cracked pipe under a block of flats and caused damage to neighbouring property.
    NOTE ADDED 21/11/2003: The House of Lords has upheld this decision, and restated the rule in Rylands v Fletcher. For more information, see the Legal Update, No liability for escape of water from a cracked pipe (House of Lords).
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 29th Sep 17, 8:06 PM
    • 1,948 Posts
    • 1,823 Thanks
    steampowered
    I have had a letting agent claim that you are not just liable if negligence can be proved - you have a legal duty of care to prevent escape of water .... but then a search on google brings this up:
    Originally posted by starving artist
    The cases you linked are all based on the legal principle called 'the rule in Rylands v Fletcher'.

    This rule says that if you keep something dangerous on your property (such as gas or chemicals and so on), you will be liable if it escapes and harms someone. Without that person needing to prove any sort of negligence.

    This isn't really applicable to the Op's situation. Water isn't hazardous. In the Transco v Stockport case you mentioned Transco had a go at suing Stockport council when a council mains water pipe burst and damaged Transco's gas pipe, but failed.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 29th Sep 17, 11:07 PM
    • 11,196 Posts
    • 15,643 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Yes I read the whole article. It could be argued that OP is negligent for not maintaining the plumbing in their property. (Just as with the car analogy if owner of the car hasn't maintained their breaks)

    I would be interested why you are so adamant that the OP has no responsibility just because the damage wasn't deliberate.
    Originally posted by Soundgirlrocks
    Not really. You don't MOT the water pipes in your home for starters nor was the pipe visible to the OP to see that it was leaking because it was underneath the bathtub. It's not like faulty car brakes where you can feel they've become spongy but choose to do SFA about it and carry on driving around regardless. Once the OP was alerted to the problem (s)he sorted it out so therefore wasn't negligent.

    The article you linked to says the upstairs leaseholder would be at fault if it can be proved (s)he was negligent and there is nothing in the OP to suggest that richdinero was negligent. It was just an unforeseen accident. It's a common misconception that just because a leak originates in your flat that you are automatically responsible for the cost of repairing any damage.

    In any case it's got !!!!!! all to do with the letting agent and the OP shouldn't be coerced into handing over money for the repair. The leaseholder below should be the one to raise a claim (see link already provided by edddy above). The excess will then either be paid by the leaseholder who raises the claim or will be split between all the leaseholders. If the insurers want to try and prove the OP was negligent that's down to them not the letting agent.
    Last edited by Pixie5740; 29-09-2017 at 11:58 PM.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • richdeniro
    • By richdeniro 2nd Oct 17, 11:07 AM
    • 269 Posts
    • 166 Thanks
    richdeniro
    Had a reply from the Estate Agent with the following having sent them a couple of links with my last email:

    From reading the information you have emailed me it would appear that the body of text refers to a tenant being asked to pay for damage caused by a leak into their own property. Not from a leak from someone else’s property.
    From what I have read you are still liable for the repairs to the ceiling not the landlord of the property we manage.
    We will seek legal advice as well as speaking to the Citizen advice.
    • Cam1
    • By Cam1 2nd Oct 17, 2:15 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Cam1
    Stop !!!!
    Is it illegal to have an internal stop !!!! boxed in with no access to it in a council property?
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 2nd Oct 17, 2:19 PM
    • 11,196 Posts
    • 15,643 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Had a reply from the Estate Agent with the following having sent them a couple of links with my last email:

    From reading the information you have emailed me it would appear that the body of text refers to a tenant being asked to pay for damage caused by a leak into their own property. Not from a leak from someone else’s property.
    From what I have read you are still liable for the repairs to the ceiling not the landlord of the property we manage.
    We will seek legal advice as well as speaking to the Citizen advice.
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    Which link did you send them, the one edddy posted?

    Let them seek legal advice and speak with CAB. In fact you could give CAB a call yourself.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • richdeniro
    • By richdeniro 2nd Oct 17, 2:35 PM
    • 269 Posts
    • 166 Thanks
    richdeniro
    Which link did you send them, the one edddy posted?

    Let them seek legal advice and speak with CAB. In fact you could give CAB a call yourself.
    Originally posted by Pixie5740
    Yes and a link to a page on the CAB website that stated the landlord is responsible.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 2nd Oct 17, 2:42 PM
    • 11,196 Posts
    • 15,643 Thanks
    Pixie5740
    Yes and a link to a page on the CAB website that stated the landlord is responsible.
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    Not the brightest crayons in the box then.
    Last edited by Pixie5740; 02-10-2017 at 2:55 PM.
    Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 2nd Oct 17, 2:46 PM
    • 5,532 Posts
    • 5,223 Thanks
    eddddy
    Yes and a link to a page on the CAB website that stated the landlord is responsible.
    Originally posted by richdeniro
    The agent might just be saving face.

    Rather than saying "Oops - we were wrong" or "We were just trying it on"...

    ... they might take a while and come back with something like "We've taken legal advice, and whilst our advisers tell us we have a good case, as a gesture of goodwill, we've decided not to persue this matter any further on this occasion."
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,285Posts Today

7,678Users online

Martin's Twitter