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

13

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  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,982 Forumite
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    edited 26 January at 4:38PM
    grumbler said:
    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?
    Yes, you can't bring your case to court and base it on "grumbler's common sense". You'd still need to prove negligence.
  • BobT36
    BobT36 Posts: 568 Forumite
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    You're arguing about random car stuff lol. 

    Surely in this case, unless you can prove the plumber was very specifically negligent (a full-on cowboy, clearly used wrong fitting, wasn't bothered etc.) then it was an accident. Accidents happen. 

    When accidents happen, that's what insurance is for. 

    As this was a damage to the building, that would go on buildings insurance. 

    Which is via the management company. The OP's question is how to MAKE them act. This is where you should be focusing your advice. 

    IF there was any damage to contents too, then I'm unsure whether that would be part of the buildings claim or go separately on the householder's contents insurance (probably the latter?). Otherwise, this is clearly a buildings insurance thing, surely? 

    Up to the management company on whether to cover cost of repairs etc. via sinking fund or insurance, but surely it's their remit. Question is how to "make" them do it. No terms of the lease or anything to hold them to? (via court if comes to it). 
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,412 Forumite
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    BobT36 said:

    Up to the management company on whether to cover cost of repairs etc. via sinking fund or insurance, but surely it's their remit. 

    That's almost certainly wrong.

    The ceiling will almost certainly be the flat owners responsibility - so the repairs are nothing to do with the management company, and the cost of repairs cannot be taken from service charge funds.


    So the flat owners choices are:
    • Pay for the repairs themselves
    • Claim from the kitchen fitter for negligence
    • Tell the Management Company to make a claim on the buildings insurance on the flat owner's behalf

  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,832 Forumite
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    eddddy said:

    That's almost certainly wrong.
    The ceiling will almost certainly be the flat owners responsibility - so the repairs are nothing to do with the management company, and the cost of repairs cannot be taken from service charge funds.
    So the flat owners choices are:
    • Pay for the repairs themselves
    • Claim from the kitchen fitter for negligence
    • Tell the Management Company to make a claim on the buildings insurance on the flat owner's behalf
    Blimey. Will the ceiling be covered by the OP's own 'Contents' insurance? If not, then it must surely be 'Buildings'?
    A simplistic - but nigh-on completely accurate - way to determine between the two types of cover is often given as, "Imagine picking up your house, turning it upside down, and giving it a little shake; everything that lands on the ceiling is 'contents'. The stuff that stays in place is 'Buildings'".
    From what I understand, the OP's own Contents insurer did say for her to submit her claim for all her personal losses - but not 'structural' stuff.

  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,832 Forumite
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    BobT36 said:
    You're arguing about random car stuff lol. 

    Surely in this case, unless you can prove the plumber was very specifically negligent (a full-on cowboy, clearly used wrong fitting, wasn't bothered etc.) then it was an accident. Accidents happen. 

    When accidents happen, that's what insurance is for. 

    As this was a damage to the building, that would go on buildings insurance. 

    Which is via the management company. The OP's question is how to MAKE them act. This is where you should be focusing your advice. 

    IF there was any damage to contents too, then I'm unsure whether that would be part of the buildings claim or go separately on the householder's contents insurance (probably the latter?). Otherwise, this is clearly a buildings insurance thing, surely? 

    Up to the management company on whether to cover cost of repairs etc. via sinking fund or insurance, but surely it's their remit. Question is how to "make" them do it. No terms of the lease or anything to hold them to? (via court if comes to it). 
    Thanks Bob. I have to say, that nicely sums up my understanding of this too.
  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,412 Forumite
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    edited 27 January at 6:27AM
    eddddy said:

    That's almost certainly wrong.
    The ceiling will almost certainly be the flat owners responsibility - so the repairs are nothing to do with the management company, and the cost of repairs cannot be taken from service charge funds.
    So the flat owners choices are:
    • Pay for the repairs themselves
    • Claim from the kitchen fitter for negligence
    • Tell the Management Company to make a claim on the buildings insurance on the flat owner's behalf
    Blimey. Will the ceiling be covered by the OP's own 'Contents' insurance? If not, then it must surely be 'Buildings'?
    A simplistic - but nigh-on completely accurate - way to determine between the two types of cover is often given as, "Imagine picking up your house, turning it upside down, and giving it a little shake; everything that lands on the ceiling is 'contents'. The stuff that stays in place is 'Buildings'".
    From what I understand, the OP's own Contents insurer did say for her to submit her claim for all her personal losses - but not 'structural' stuff.


    Ummm... you've gone off at a slightly strange tangent there!   What you say is true, but it's nothing to do with my post.  I'm trying to guess why you've gone off at that tangent. Maybe it will help if I re-summarise.

     
    You sound like you're trying to disagree with something I've said. If so, what is it you're disagreeing with?

    You are correct...
    • Ceilings are covered by buildings insurance
    • Ceilings are not covered by contents insurance

    And to reiterate...
    • Ceilings are almost always the responsibility of a flat owner
    • With most leases, freeholders (or their managing agents) arrange buildings insurance for the whole building. The whole building includes the ceiling (and walls and floors and doors and windows etc) of every flat in the building.

    So like I said, regarding the ceiling damage, that leaves 3 choices for the flat owner...
    • Pay for the repairs themselves
    • Claim from the kitchen fitter for negligence
    • Tell the Management Company to make a claim on the buildings insurance on the flat owner's behalf

    If you disagree with anything I've said in this post, it would be great if you could be specific about what it is you disagree with. Then maybe I can explain further.

    (Maybe you could highlight the specific words or sentences that you are disagreeing with...?)



    Edit to add...

    Although on second thoughts, there is so much misinformation in this thread now, I think it's probably become useless as a source of information for anyone.

    Maybe it's better to let the thread quietly die off.

  • anselld
    anselld Posts: 8,277 Forumite
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    edited 27 January at 8:20AM
    @eddddy suspect it is this statement in your previous post which has caused confusion "The ceiling will almost certainly be the flat owners responsibility - so the repairs are nothing to do with the management company"...
      how would the ceiling be the flat owners responsibility?  Surely it is part of the building and covered by building insurance.
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,832 Forumite
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    eddddy said:

    Ummm... you've gone off at a slightly strange tangent there!   What you say is true, but it's nothing to do with my post.  I'm trying to guess why you've gone off at that tangent. Maybe it will help if I re-summarise.

    You are correct...
    • Ceilings are covered by buildings insurance
    • Ceilings are not covered by contents insurance
    And to reiterate...
    • Ceilings are almost always the responsibility of a flat owner
    • With most leases, freeholders (or their managing agents) arrange buildings insurance for the whole building. The whole building includes the ceiling (and walls and floors and doors and windows etc) of every flat in the building.
    So like I said, regarding the ceiling damage, that leaves 3 choices for the flat owner...
    • Pay for the repairs themselves
    • Claim from the kitchen fitter for negligence
    • Tell the Management Company to make a claim on the buildings insurance on the flat owner's behalf
    If you disagree with anything I've said in this post, it would be great if you could be specific about what it is you disagree with. Then maybe I can explain further.

    (Maybe you could highlight the specific words or sentences that you are disagreeing with...?)

    I didn't think it was a tangent at all, Eddddy. As anselld suggested, it was your comment, "The ceiling will almost certainly be the flat owners responsibility - so the repairs are nothing to do with the management company, and the cost of repairs cannot be taken from service charge funds."
    I am confused by your post, because you do go on to say that, "Ceilings are covered by buildings insurance, Ceilings are not covered by contents insurance"
    Isn't that the crux here? It's surely moot who has 'responsibility' for the ceilings, because if they fall down due to such damage, then it's for 'Buildings' insurance to sort, so the FH has the actual 'responsibility' to sort it, and not the flat owner.
    I'd suggest the three choices for the OP are:
    • Tell the Management Company to make a claim on the buildings insurance on the flat owner's behalf
    • Insist the Management Company makes a claim
    • Double-down on this insistence
    Pay for the repairs themselves? Why on earth should they? It'll cost many £undreds, if not £ks. And the OP already pays for Buildings cover.
    Claim from the kitchen fitter for negligence - the least advised route, as this would almost certainly be fraught, take ages to resolve, and be very stressful. And if the OP loses, they'll have added costs over and above having to sort the ceilings.
    Yes, this thread has dragged on too far now. Your suggestions on the original thread were very helpful in how the OP should proceed, so thank you.





  • eddddy
    eddddy Posts: 16,412 Forumite
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    edited 27 January at 10:54AM
    anselld said:
    @eddddy suspect it is this statement in your previous post which has caused confusion "The ceiling will almost certainly be the flat owners responsibility - so the repairs are nothing to do with the management company"...
    That's correct.
    anselld said:

      how would the ceiling be the flat owners responsibility? 
    Ceilings are almost always the flat owner's responsibility in leases
    anselld said:

     Surely it is part of the building and covered by building insurance.
    Yes - the ceiling is part of the building and covered by the buildings insurance policy


    That's how the vast majority of flat leases work. (And the flat owners comments in their other thread seem to confirm that's how their specific lease works).

    The vast majority of flat leases will say the following:

    1. The flat owner (leaseholder) is responsible for maintaining and repairing the internal parts of their flat - and the flat owner is responsible for paying (or making an insurance claim). That usually includes stuff like...
    • The plaster on the ceiling
    • Internal walls
    • The plaster on the walls
    • the floor boards (maybe the floor joists)
    • The plumbing inside the flat
    • The electrics inside the flat
    • The internal doors
    • The kitchen
    • The bathroom suite


    2. The freeholder is responsible for maintaining and repairing the communal parts of the building and the structure of the building  - and paying for that out Service Charge funds (or making an insurance claim). That usually includes stuff like...
    • The outside walls
    • The roof
    • The foundations
    • Communal areas (like front doors, shared hallways etc)
    • Shared plumbing
    • Shared electrics


    Regarding buildings insurance...

    Typically, the freeholder is responsible for insuring the whole building - usually with one buildings insurance policy. That policy covers everything listed in part 1 and part 2 above.

    So to emphasise this point with some examples from the 2 lists above... that single insurance policy covers...
    • The flat owners ceiling
    • The flat owners bathroom suite
    • The roof
    • The communal front door
    • etc, etc

    So if a flat owners ceiling is damaged by escaping water, their choices include...
    • Paying to have their ceiling repaired
    • Telling the freeholder to make a claim on the buildings insurance policy that the freeholder has arranged

    i.e. The freeholder is responsible for doing a bit of admin - filling in some insurance claim forms, on behalf of the flat owner. But nothing more.
    • The freeholder is not responsible for repairing the ceiling.
    • The freeholder is not responsible for paying for repairs to the ceiling
    • If for example, the insurer refuses the claim for any reason, the freeholder has done their duty, and can walk away.


  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,832 Forumite
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    Ah, I see.
    Yes, it's effectively the difference between maintenance and repair from damage.
    Yes, Leaseholders are responsible for maintaining the internal fabric of their building. If the ceiling comes down because it's fatigued, then no claim can be made. But when an 'accident' happens, that's different.
    In the OP's case, it's very clearly a valid claim.
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