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  • FIRST POST
    • Gaptooth
    • By Gaptooth 10th Apr 18, 10:08 AM
    • 136Posts
    • 72Thanks
    Gaptooth
    Upstairs/downstairs flat - who should pay?
    • #1
    • 10th Apr 18, 10:08 AM
    Upstairs/downstairs flat - who should pay? 10th Apr 18 at 10:08 AM
    So about three years ago after I moved into my first floor flat I had a couple of floorboards replaced in my bathroom because the bath had been leaking and they were rotting (the previous owner didn't look after the place very well). When they were replaced it turned out there was also some damage to the joist below, so a small section of joist was replaced too. The joists are a joint responsibility between myself and the downstairs landlord but I paid for this as I wanted it done quickly and the damaged was caused by the previous owner of my flat.

    In replacing the joists, a small amount of plaster came down from the ceiling in the downstairs flat's bathroom. My builder said he would fix the plaster next time he came round, so I put him in touch with the downstairs landlord to arrange access to the flat but neither of them followed up with each other. I have contacted them both about it several times since but neither replies. However, about once a year the downstairs landlord texts me and asks me to get this fixed, saying that the loose plaster is dangerous for his tenants.

    He has just texted me (again) and I've told him (again) to choose another contractor because my builder is not responding. However I'm slightly peeved that I'm being held responsible for fixing this (relatively small) problem for over three years now. I can see the argument for me paying for it (it happened while fixing damage caused by the previous owner of my flat) or for him paying (I already paid for the more expensive job of fixing the joist, which we were jointly liable for), but I'm getting increasingly annoyed at being guilt tripped about something he could have easily got fixed years ago if he really cared about his tenants. Should I just pay for it for the sake of an easy life, or am I being a mug?

    Any advice much appreciated!
Page 1
    • Furts
    • By Furts 10th Apr 18, 11:53 AM
    • 4,238 Posts
    • 2,745 Thanks
    Furts
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 11:53 AM
    • #2
    • 10th Apr 18, 11:53 AM
    I am almost at a loss for words. You have created damage to a downstairs flat, and have allowed this to persist for three years. However you are saying you are "slightly peeved" about being chased to act as a responsible neighbour and to act as a person with any sense of decency?

    Three years ago you could have knocked on the door of the downstairs flat, explained what was about to happen with repairs, had a cup of tea, then got the work done. You would during this work have checked the downstairs flat and immediately made good any damage.

    Just in case you think this is a key board warrior sounding off, let me give you an anecdotal story. Within recent weeks I have been making good a problem flat in London. Here there would be sawing and drilling so I first spoke with the neighbours below. They explained the saga of previous tenants above them and the leaking pipes causing ceiling damage to them. This was nothing to do with me but I immediately offered to rectify the ceiling, as best I could, as a goodwill gesture. Why? So future relations between this person and the new tenants above could kick off on a positive start. Plus these folks would, hopefully, regard me as an honourable, and decent fellow to be working in the flat above them.

    Your approach has been different. Instead you send out a message for three years saying you could not care less. What is the world coming to?
    • Gaptooth
    • By Gaptooth 10th Apr 18, 12:58 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    Gaptooth
    • #3
    • 10th Apr 18, 12:58 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Apr 18, 12:58 PM
    I don't know what from my message makes you think I didn't let the tenant or the landlord know in advance that the work was happening. I absolutely did let them know. They were happy to go ahead with it, because the damage to the joists also affects them.

    I have since contacted the downstairs landlord multiple times to try to arrange to repair the damage and he hasn't replied to me. The tenants downstairs don't speak English and so he asks that I arrange all access through him. I don't know what else I could have done to arrange to fix it? Break down the door?
    • Gaptooth
    • By Gaptooth 10th Apr 18, 1:04 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    Gaptooth
    • #4
    • 10th Apr 18, 1:04 PM
    • #4
    • 10th Apr 18, 1:04 PM
    My point is that I have been literally offering to get this done for three years and he has been ignoring me. And now he's speaking to me as though the fact that it hasn't been done is my fault. I don't see how I am the one sending out the message that I don't care.
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 10th Apr 18, 1:59 PM
    • 3,586 Posts
    • 3,159 Thanks
    Hoploz
    • #5
    • 10th Apr 18, 1:59 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Apr 18, 1:59 PM
    I think it'd be best if you found a new contractor and got the job done. That way it'll be off your mind for good.
    Retrospectively it might've been possible to make a claim on the communal buildings insurance for some of the damage and possibly the downstairs flat's contents insurance, depending what exactly is damaged, but it's a bit late now so the quicker you can arrange to get it repaired the better.
    • Furts
    • By Furts 10th Apr 18, 3:08 PM
    • 4,238 Posts
    • 2,745 Thanks
    Furts
    • #6
    • 10th Apr 18, 3:08 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Apr 18, 3:08 PM
    I don't know what from my message makes you think I didn't let the tenant or the landlord know in advance that the work was happening. I absolutely did let them know. They were happy to go ahead with it, because the damage to the joists also affects them.

    I have since contacted the downstairs landlord multiple times to try to arrange to repair the damage and he hasn't replied to me. The tenants downstairs don't speak English and so he asks that I arrange all access through him. I don't know what else I could have done to arrange to fix it? Break down the door?
    Originally posted by Gaptooth
    By your own admission you passed the buck to your builder, and tried to make him responsible for your problems. Not surprising he is not interested in your problems and who can blame him. Three years on and nothing has been done. You are still responsible - you created this problem so get it sorted.
    • Gaptooth
    • By Gaptooth 10th Apr 18, 9:34 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    Gaptooth
    • #7
    • 10th Apr 18, 9:34 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Apr 18, 9:34 PM
    By your own admission you passed the buck to your builder, and tried to make him responsible for your problems. Not surprising he is not interested in your problems and who can blame him. Three years on and nothing has been done. You are still responsible - you created this problem so get it sorted.
    Originally posted by Furts
    Actually I was not there when all of this happened - it was the builder who voluntarily entered into an agreement with the downstairs landlord (this wasn't my idea). Since the builder then reneged on the agreement, I subsequently contacted other contractors to arrange to have the work done. I have had a couple of other contractors over but I have been unable to get access to the downstairs flat because the landlord has ignored my calls/texts/emails. I have suggested that the downstairs landlord make arrangements directly with a contractor because otherwise I am just wasting contractors' time asking them to come to a flat they cannot access.
    • Gaptooth
    • By Gaptooth 10th Apr 18, 9:37 PM
    • 136 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    Gaptooth
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 18, 9:37 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Apr 18, 9:37 PM
    I think it'd be best if you found a new contractor and got the job done. That way it'll be off your mind for good.
    Retrospectively it might've been possible to make a claim on the communal buildings insurance for some of the damage and possibly the downstairs flat's contents insurance, depending what exactly is damaged, but it's a bit late now so the quicker you can arrange to get it repaired the better.
    Originally posted by Hoploz
    Thanks for replying. Yes I did wonder today about the buildings insurance but it didn't occur to me at the time. As above, I have found a couple of new contractors and had them over but been unable to get access to the downstairs flat, hence I'm now a bit stuck as to how to proceed.
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