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Leak from above flat caused damage to flat

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Leak from above flat caused damage to flat

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
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aj9648aj9648 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
Hi

Not sure if this is right place....

I own a flat which I rent out and a few months ago (Dec 2018) there was a leak from above flat which caused a huge problem for my tenant - massive hole in the ceiling and water pouring through.

Managed to clean things up and after many weeks of asking the agent who manages upstairs to sort out I stepped in and sorted it out and got someone to fix the hole and paint etc. Cost me nearly £400.

Over the last few months I have been trying to get the above landlord to compensate me - the problem has been that the owner lets through an agent so the communication is slow.

Now the agent is saying claim through insurance and claim it via his insurance company...…...complication is that tenant has not taken out home insurance - urghhhhhh

Where do I go now ? Small Claims court?

Replies

  • Why do you think the flat above should compensate you?

    On what legal grounds do you imagine you would bring an action in the small claims court?
    Lloyds broker working in Private Clients and Property Owners.


    Looking to help and be helped.
  • aj9648aj9648 Forumite
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    Because the leak came from their flat, travelled down through my ceiling and into my flat.....
  • jaybeetoojaybeetoo Forumite
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    You’d have to prove the owner of the flat above was negligent. Are you not able to claim off the buildings insurance for the whole block?
  • pramsay13pramsay13 Forumite
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    That's literally why you have insurance, to deal with an incident like this.

    If I was the landlord of the flat above I would compensate you for any insurance excess paid as a goodwill gesture, but that would be it.
  • AretnapAretnap Forumite
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    aj9648 wrote: »
    Because the leak came from their flat, travelled down through my ceiling and into my flat.....
    That's not sufficient reason for the owner of the flat above (or his insurer, whose job is to protect him, not to protect you) to be liable for the damage. To hold him liable you would generally have to prove that he was negligent, which means that he failed to take the level of care that would be expected of a reasonable person. If a reasonable person would not have realised that there was a risk of leakage until it happened, for example because there were no outward signs that the pipes were in poor condition, then it goes down as just one of those things - not your fault, but not his fault either. In that situation everybody has to either pay for their own damage, or claim on their own insurance.

    So what do you think a reasonable person would have done that the landlord upstairs failed to do?
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  • eddddyeddddy Forumite
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    aj9648 wrote: »
    Now the agent is saying claim through insurance and claim it via his insurance company...…...complication is that tenant has not taken out home insurance - urghhhhhh

    What caused the leak?
    • For example, if the upstairs tenant left a running bath unattended and it overflowed, the upstairs tenant was probably negligent. And you can claim damages from the tenant.
    • But, for example, if a pipe failed unexpectedly, nobody was negligent. So there is nobody to claim damages from.

    However, freeholders are usually responsible for buildings insurance for a block of flats.

    And buildings insurance often covers damage to the building (like holes in a ceiling) caused by escape of water.

    So you probably could have claimed on the freeholders buildings insurance. But I suspect the insurers would have wanted to see the damage before it was fixed - so it's probably too late now.

    Also, if you'd claimed on the freeholder's buildings insurance, you'd have had to pay the excess. And the premium would probably go up, and you'd pay a share of that. So it may not have been economic for a £400 repair.
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