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Published On: December 12, 2011 | Blog | 0 comments

Leaks From Upstairs

Flooding can be catastrophic and ruin decorations and furnishings and cause damage to plastered walls and ceilings. In a block of flats when water escapes this can often affect the person living below as well as the flat from where a leak started.

A leak may not be visible at all within the flat which is starts in. Leaks can be difficult to trace and can come from any of the plumbing installations some of which will be concealed behind baths or washing machines or inside ducting. It may be impossible to trace a leak without removing sanitary fittings and tiling to check all connections.

Leaks can occur simply due to the carelessness of the occupant above or due to inadequate protection from tiling and a properly used shower curtain.

Unfortunately, to hold the occupant above responsible may not be of any benefit to the person who has been flooded out. The neighbour above may have no insurance in place or be generally un-cooperative. Most residents will be reluctant to allow intrusive investigations into what they may perceive to be a non existent leak. Bad relations can start between neighbours where someone is being repeatedly flooded out.

A tenant can find themselves living with a leak but they cannot obtain a remedy because their neighbour refuses to co-operate and the landlord refuses to do the repairs because they place the blame with the upstairs resident. This happens particularly where that person is a leaseholder who has bought their property under the right to buy scheme. Private individuals may not have sufficient assets to bring a claim against. They may have rented out the property to tenants and are living elsewhere and are therefore difficult to trace.

Where a leak has been serious enough to causes damage to the actual structure of a building for example by damaging the plaster and fabric of the building or causing it to be damp the person affected will have a remedy against their own landlord if they have not carried out repairs to their flat within a reasonable time. This is because the landlord will always have an obligation under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and probably their tenancy agreement to repair the structure.

The landlord will have retained the right to enter the upstairs flat for the purpose of carrying out repairs either as part of the terms of the tenancy or the lease and can seek to rely on these terms to gain access.

A tenant can seek an order for repair works and compensation for the inconvenience caused.

Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*

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