Leak affected shop downstairs from us

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
1 reply 389 views
stradlestradle Forumite
4 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Insurance & Life Assurance
Our flat had a leak from a pipe in our bathroom which wet the loft space and ceiling of a commercial property below us.

We got a plumber out who fixed the leek leaving some damage in our property and some money to pay - replacing some tiles, cost of plumber

I have home insurance/buildings insurance which I could claim - something I have never done before.

My excess is £250 and obviously if i make a claim then that will be a claim for future renewals etc

I have left it with the commercial property that I would be in touch, knowing that I have at least fixed the emergency.

But my questions are around moving forward and whether to claim or not :

1. How much flexability do they have in choosing how their property is fixed? If i found someone to fix the commercial property and paid for it, is that enough or do they have a right to find whoever they want at a price they want?

2. Will they be claiming on my insurance or their own?

I am just trying to understand my options and how I proceed with the next part.



  • AretnapAretnap Forumite
    4.2K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Normally you would only be liable for the damage to the downstairs property if the leak was the result of your negligence. That means, if you did not take the level of care that would be expected of a reasonable person to ensure that it was safe. In practice that means that if you had good reason to suspect that your plumbing was faulty and had not taken steps to fix it properly (for example, if you'd had a previous leak and bodged it up yourself rather than getting a plumber out) you might be liable. However, if a normal, reasonable person would not have foreseen the risk of a leak then you have done nothing wrong and are not responsible for the damage to the downstairs shop - the owner would either have to pay for the damage himself or claim on his own insurance.

    IF the shop owner can establish negligence on your part then he would be entitled to get the repairs done himself using a reputable tradesman at any reasonable cost - he wouldn't have to accept the cheapest quote he could find or allow you get your own plumber to do it at mates rates. However this only applies if it can be shown that you were negligent - without negligence you have no obligation to pay for anything, unless you want to make an offer for the sake of good neighbourly relations.

    Your insurance will generally cover the damage to the downstairs flat IF AND ONLY IF you are legally liable for it - it's there to protect you, not to protect your neighbour. It won't cover any goodwill gesture that you choose to make, but don't have to.
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