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Leak in flats

Leak in flats

Postby jinkazama1 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:45 am

Hi,

I own a flat in a block with a managing agent and was contacted by the management company to state that there was a leak to downstairs. I left work and resolved the issue, a trickle leak from a loose valve, within two hours. The downstairs flat then asked how to go about fixing the damaged area ( stained small area of ceiling ) and I stated that the normal process was to contact the budilding insurers through the management company. Then six months later I receive a bill for the excess sum for the claim of £ 500 from the management company. This was their sole communication on the matter.

At no point prior did the building management contact me to tell me there was a claim, how much the claim value was and that they deemed to me to be liable for the excess. I checked my lease and it states that although an excess is payable it does not state who is liable for this, ie some leases would state the source of the leak or some would say it falls into the block charge.

Now before you all start thinking I am a horrible neighbour and trying to be difficult, the kicker in this matter is that the flat below had contacted the onsite staff of the managing agent 3 weeks prior to me being notified by them to tell them that there was a leak. The flat then had to contact them again during this period as no action had been taken. Then after 3 weeks I was notified. So during this period, the trickle leak was accruing damage to their flat without my knowledge. When I was made aware as per above I stopped it within 2 hours.

So you can see where my issue is with this all. I have currently refused to pay this for the following reasons -

1) The managing agent has been completely incompetent in communications and this has resulted in greater damage to the flat below ( although they state this would have to be proven when I pointed this out to them ).
2) Further to their delay in informing me of the leak, they have not communicated about the claim at all, I don't know if the value of fixing the issue - if it was £ 200 for example, is smaller than the £ 500 excess. This also implies that any future small claims , say someone suffers a leak and claims for £ 150 of remedy and then 6 months later the flat above gets a bill for a £ 500 excess ? Should the flat above not be informed of this as one of the parties involved in the claim ?
3) My lease does not state where this charge should fall


Thanks
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Re: Leak in flats

Postby atticus » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:58 am

Make those points to the managing agent. In writing.
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Re: Leak in flats

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Nov 23, 2016 4:23 pm

Perhaps a little more politely than you have here: nobody likes to be called incompetent.
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Re: Leak in flats

Postby dls » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:22 pm

Check the agreement with them in fine detail.
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Re: Leak in flats

Postby atticus » Wed Nov 23, 2016 8:05 pm

Some of the earlier Rylands v Fletcher cases were about water leaks from upstairs flats. Strict liability.
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Re: Leak in flats

Postby jinkazama1 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:09 pm

So months on the managing agent, who are appointed by our RTM, have added £ 500 to my 2017 service charge bill. I have since contacted them twice to state that this £ 500 should be split - £ 250 as I am the source flat and £ 250 as they took 25 days to inform me there was a leak and so more damage was formed and not informing me I was a liable party from the start. I have had no reply from them on the issue.

In response to the above statement of what is written between parties the only thing we have is our lease and that states that an excess is payable but it is does not state who, I gather some leases state this falls into the block charge or indeed the source flat but ours does not. The lease makes a statement of keeping flat in a good state of repair but I think this is a subjective statement unless I had left the bath running in negligence as opposed to a once in a decade leak.

Anyhow, I have now tried to mediate the situation as per above with no reply. There are two ways we pay our service charge, bi annual up front or DD, currently I am on DD and this £ 500 has been absorbed into the total 2017 cost so my monthly payments are currently 500/12 per month higher. If the no response continues am I within my right to cancel the DD and remit the 6 months bi annual in its entirity minus the £ 250 I suggested with a letter explaining my attempts at mediation have been ignored ?
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