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How to 'oblige' a Building Management Group to make a buildings claim?

24

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  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629 Forumite
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    edited 26 January at 10:30AM
    TBH, it's just (my) common sense, but there are so many nonsensical laws around, that it will be no surprise to me if my common sense fails me.
    I'm not going to spend my time on becoming a legal expert in this area, but a quick google search gives this among other similar results:

    If the leak arises from an area within the control of the landlord, the potential costs of the work resulting from the leak may be recoverable through the service charge or covered by the buildings insurance policy. Any excess payable will normally be shared by all of the leaseholders through the service charge.

    If the leak arises from an area with the control of another leaseholder then it is more likely that the leaseholder will be responsible for the damage caused to your flat. If the building is covered by a comprehensive insurance policy that covers damage between flats the landlord or managing agent might allow a claim in some circumstances.

    Where the damage is more extensive and involves areas within the landlord’s responsibility the landlord may take a lead on the work or oversee the work carried out by the flat owner.


  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,431 Forumite
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    grumbler said:

    I'm not going to spend my time on becoming an expert in this area, but a quick google search gives this among other similar results:

    If the leak arises from an area within the control of the landlord, the potential costs of the work resulting from the leak may be recoverable through the service charge or covered by the buildings insurance policy. Any excess payable will normally be shared by all of the leaseholders through the service charge.

    If the leak arises from an area with the control of another leaseholder then it is more likely that the leaseholder will be responsible for the damage caused to your flat. If the building is covered by a comprehensive insurance policy that covers damage between flats the landlord or managing agent might allow a claim in some circumstances.

    Where the damage is more extensive and involves areas within the landlord’s responsibility the landlord may take a lead on the work or oversee the work carried out by the flat owner.


    It's strange that LEASE have that info on their website.


    Here's an example of a Court of Appeal case that confirms that there is no "strict liability" for water leaks escaping from your property:

    https://www.bevanbrittan.com/insights/articles/2020/c-v-b/

    The Court of Appeal confirms that you are only liable if you were negligent.

    (But as the article says, District Courts / Small Claims Courts sometimes get this wrong.)

    In the OP's case, there's no suggestion the the upstairs owner was negligent. In fact, there's a strong possibility that the kitchen fitter was negligent.


    But negligence can be difficult to prove, so it's usually best to have buildings insurance, and consider making a claim on that instead. (And the insurers might decide to pursue the kitchen fitters.)


  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,840 Forumite
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    Logically, Grumb and Eddddy, it doesn't make sense that you can make the other flat owner liable - unless they were seriously and very obviously negligent to the point of recklessness. 
    I mean, what would happen with an everyday unintended and unanticipated leak - you make the flat owner liable? If so, how would they manage to pay the potentially many £1,000s in repair charges? They wouldn't be individually insured against this, since 'Buildings' is done communally through the FH. The only individual insurance they'd have is 'contents', and that certainly ain't going to pay out for 'structural' repairs. So, every flat owner should be prepared to dip into their own pockets if a leak emanates from their flat? No, surely not.
    Even suing this kitchen fitter will be fraught - all he has to do is claim that he made all these connections according to the manufacturer's guidelines, checked them for leaks, and was satisfied they were all ok when he left; the fact one subsequently 'blew' must mean the fitting was faulty, ergo not his fault. To prove otherwise will almost certainly be a hiding to nothing.
    I agree - the flat owner is not personally liable. The kitchen fitter might be, but that doesn't help the OP. Physical damage to the fabric of the building is covered by the communal Buildings insurance and/or any accumulated sink-fund. It is then up to the insurance assessor/investigator whether to pursue the kitchen fitter to recover this sum - they will know from experience what the chances of success are (it may well be that such major leaks following a plumbing installation does, in itself, imply liability; a 'pro' just shouldn't have a leak! I don't know.)
    This should be like a car accident. Priority is for your insurance to cover the repairs - then the two companies can fight it out for 'liability'.
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629 Forumite
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    edited 26 January at 12:50PM
    Logically, Grumb and Eddddy, it doesn't make sense that you can make the other flat owner liable - unless they were seriously and very obviously negligent to the point of recklessness. 
    It does make perfect sense to me.
    I mean, what would happen with an everyday unintended and unanticipated leak - you make the flat owner liable? If so, how would they manage to pay the potentially many £1,000s in repair charges? They wouldn't be individually insured against this, since 'Buildings' is done communally through the FH. The only individual insurance they'd have is 'contents', and that certainly ain't going to pay out for 'structural' repairs. 
    Again, I google and see "Flat insurance for Buildings and Contents". So, it's the owner's choice whether to 'self-insure' and "pay potentially many £1,000s in repair charges" or to have an insurance in place. 

    Compare to a car. It passed MOT, but, say, brakes fail causing damage or injuries as a result. Is it negligence? No. Is the driver liable? Yes. The only difference is that insurance is compulsory in this case.
  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 10,352 Forumite
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    grumbler said:
    Logically, Grumb and Eddddy, it doesn't make sense that you can make the other flat owner liable - unless they were seriously and very obviously negligent to the point of recklessness. 
    It does make perfect sense to me.
    I mean, what would happen with an everyday unintended and unanticipated leak - you make the flat owner liable? If so, how would they manage to pay the potentially many £1,000s in repair charges? They wouldn't be individually insured against this, since 'Buildings' is done communally through the FH. The only individual insurance they'd have is 'contents', and that certainly ain't going to pay out for 'structural' repairs. 
    Again, I google and see "Flat insurance for Buildings and Contents". So, it's the owner's choice whether to 'self-insure' and "pay potentially many £1,000s in repair charges" or to have an insurance in place. 

    Compare to a car. It passed MOT, but, say, brakes fail causing damage or injuries as a result. Is it negligence? No. Is the driver liable? Yes. The only difference is that insurance is compulsory in this case.
    No, the driver isn't necessarily liable, it will depend on why the brakes failed, service history etc. Have managed to make a sizeable recovery from a garage after a botched brake repair let our insured;s car roll down hill causing major damage to it and two parked cars. 

    "Self-insure" and "uninsured" are two separate things... the former you make explicit financial provisions to cover the risk, the second you just hope the risk doesn't crystallise or don't realise you are running a risk. 
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,840 Forumite
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    I doubt there is a Leaseholder in this country who takes out secondary buildings insurance when they are already contributing to it via their service charge.

  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,431 Forumite
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    grumbler said:

    Compare to a car. It passed MOT, but, say, brakes fail causing damage or injuries as a result. Is it negligence? No. Is the driver liable? Yes. The only difference is that insurance is compulsory in this case.

    Again, you're not necessarily liable if you crash your car - if you weren't negligent.  A more clear-cut example is if you have an unexpected medical incident whilst driving.

    The news story below has an example of somebody having an unexpected heart attack, and crashing their car. The driver was not liable, because having an unexpected heat attack isn't negligent.

    However, the news story also mentions that if the driver had a medical history, and should have known that he might have a heart attack - then he might have been negligent.


    Link: https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/mar/12/driver-heart-attack-wrote-off-my-parked-car-lost-no-claims
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629 Forumite
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    edited 26 January at 1:38PM
    grumbler said:
    Logically, Grumb and Eddddy, it doesn't make sense that you can make the other flat owner liable - unless they were seriously and very obviously negligent to the point of recklessness. 
    It does make perfect sense to me.
    I mean, what would happen with an everyday unintended and unanticipated leak - you make the flat owner liable? If so, how would they manage to pay the potentially many £1,000s in repair charges? They wouldn't be individually insured against this, since 'Buildings' is done communally through the FH. The only individual insurance they'd have is 'contents', and that certainly ain't going to pay out for 'structural' repairs. 
    Again, I google and see "Flat insurance for Buildings and Contents". So, it's the owner's choice whether to 'self-insure' and "pay potentially many £1,000s in repair charges" or to have an insurance in place. 

    Compare to a car. It passed MOT, but, say, brakes fail causing damage or injuries as a result. Is it negligence? No. Is the driver liable? Yes. The only difference is that insurance is compulsory in this case.
    No, the driver isn't necessarily liable, it will depend on why the brakes failed, service history etc. Have managed to make a sizeable recovery from a garage after a botched brake repair let our insured;s car roll down hill causing major damage to it and two parked cars. 

    "Self-insure" and "uninsured" are two separate things... the former you make explicit financial provisions to cover the risk, the second you just hope the risk doesn't crystallise or don't realise you are running a risk. 
    OK, let's say MOTed, serviced, correct parts used etc. Regardless, nothing is 100% reliable and fault-proof. And a victim doesn't have to conduct investigation. For the victim it's the car owner/driver who is liable.  Then the driver can conduct investigation and sue the garage or the manufacturer in return. As the insurance is compulsory it's the insurer who does all the job if needed.
    "Self-insure" and "uninsured" are two separate things... the former you make explicit financial provisions to cover the risk, the second you just hope the risk doesn't crystallise or don't realise you are running a risk. 

    No, I don't necessarily just 'hope'. I know the risk and am prepared to cover it (up to becoming a bankrupt). Car insurance is compulsory because damages can be very high and victims need money, not a bankrupt driver.

  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 14,029 Forumite
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    grumbler said:
    grumbler said:
    Logically, Grumb and Eddddy, it doesn't make sense that you can make the other flat owner liable - unless they were seriously and very obviously negligent to the point of recklessness. 
    It does make perfect sense to me.
    I mean, what would happen with an everyday unintended and unanticipated leak - you make the flat owner liable? If so, how would they manage to pay the potentially many £1,000s in repair charges? They wouldn't be individually insured against this, since 'Buildings' is done communally through the FH. The only individual insurance they'd have is 'contents', and that certainly ain't going to pay out for 'structural' repairs. 
    Again, I google and see "Flat insurance for Buildings and Contents". So, it's the owner's choice whether to 'self-insure' and "pay potentially many £1,000s in repair charges" or to have an insurance in place. 

    Compare to a car. It passed MOT, but, say, brakes fail causing damage or injuries as a result. Is it negligence? No. Is the driver liable? Yes. The only difference is that insurance is compulsory in this case.
    No, the driver isn't necessarily liable, it will depend on why the brakes failed, service history etc. Have managed to make a sizeable recovery from a garage after a botched brake repair let our insured;s car roll down hill causing major damage to it and two parked cars. 

    "Self-insure" and "uninsured" are two separate things... the former you make explicit financial provisions to cover the risk, the second you just hope the risk doesn't crystallise or don't realise you are running a risk. 
    And a victim doesn't have to conduct investigation. For the victim it's the car owner/driver who is liable.
    On what basis, if the driver has not in fact been negligent?
  • grumbler
    grumbler Posts: 58,629 Forumite
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    edited 26 January at 4:28PM
    user1977 said:
    grumbler said:
    grumbler said:
    Logically, Grumb and Eddddy, it doesn't make sense that you can make the other flat owner liable - unless they were seriously and very obviously negligent to the point of recklessness. 
    It does make perfect sense to me.
    I mean, what would happen with an everyday unintended and unanticipated leak - you make the flat owner liable? If so, how would they manage to pay the potentially many £1,000s in repair charges? They wouldn't be individually insured against this, since 'Buildings' is done communally through the FH. The only individual insurance they'd have is 'contents', and that certainly ain't going to pay out for 'structural' repairs. 
    Again, I google and see "Flat insurance for Buildings and Contents". So, it's the owner's choice whether to 'self-insure' and "pay potentially many £1,000s in repair charges" or to have an insurance in place. 

    Compare to a car. It passed MOT, but, say, brakes fail causing damage or injuries as a result. Is it negligence? No. Is the driver liable? Yes. The only difference is that insurance is compulsory in this case.
    No, the driver isn't necessarily liable, it will depend on why the brakes failed, service history etc. Have managed to make a sizeable recovery from a garage after a botched brake repair let our insured;s car roll down hill causing major damage to it and two parked cars. 

    "Self-insure" and "uninsured" are two separate things... the former you make explicit financial provisions to cover the risk, the second you just hope the risk doesn't crystallise or don't realise you are running a risk. 
    And a victim doesn't have to conduct investigation. For the victim it's the car owner/driver who is liable.
    On what basis, if the driver has not in fact been negligent?
    On the basis that the driver owns the car that is potentially dangerous even if he isn't negligent. And uses it in public places. Again, it's just my common sense.
    Are you saying that a victim does have to conduct investigation?
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