Block of flats next door causing flooding and subsidence?

by Readers Question

8:56 AM, 16th December 2019
About 10 months ago

Block of flats next door causing flooding and subsidence?

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Block of flats next door causing flooding and subsidence?

We have owned this particular 4 bedroom Buy to Let property for 30 years. Next to our property is a block of flats which is on a higher ground and then there is a wall between the flats and our property.

The property suffers from historical subsidence. Tenants have complained of flooding previously (going back years) and recently, because the floor was so weak we had to replace the whole flooring downstairs at a considerable cost. We never knew why the foundations were so weak and why flooding occurred.

Only last week our workman spotted holes in the walls where pipes had been inserted. Basically all the ground water from the flats when it rains was going into our garden. The rain was heavy last week and we were sent pictures of the amount of water going into our garden from these pipes and was a constant strong flow.

I am amazed we did not notice earlier and secondly out anyone could even contemplate inserting pipes in the walls. We have no idea when the pipes were inserted and the walls belongs to the flats which is run by a management company.

Would be grateful for any inputs and advice how we can resolve this and perhaps get compensation though I am not sure if we have a good case of arguing that the replacement of the ground floor was solely due to the water that weakened the foundation. There could be other factors since the property had also suffered from Japanese knotweed.

Many thanks

Jim


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Comments

Neil Patterson

9:00 AM, 16th December 2019
About 10 months ago

Hi Jim,

This potentially sounds like it could be serious. I would personally get a Surveyor over for an initial look and see what sort of survey/report they recommend.

You will need some form of professional report if you do need to contact the block's management company for any remedial action.

Gary Nock

10:31 AM, 16th December 2019
About 10 months ago

Get your building insurers involved now. Do not try and sort this out yourselves. It will potentially cost you thousands.

Michael Bond

13:28 PM, 16th December 2019
About 10 months ago

Put large diameter extensions on the pipes so that any water coming out is piped off your premises and ideally back under or below the flats? But, seriously, get professional advice first.

Jim Littlehampton

17:41 PM, 16th December 2019
About 10 months ago

We have already spent thousands with the flooring this year and never knew why it was damaged.

We noticed the flooring had fallen earlier this year and was rotten (due to damp) so we had a surveyor out to see if there has been any further subsidence (which there hadn't been) and if the whole flooring need to be replaced. Kitchen flooring was replaced a few years ago but there are cracks in the kitchen floors and looks like will need to be replaced again.

I could go back to the Surveyor though probably not their fault they did not see the pipes. The workman only noticed the pipes by chance when it was raining. Though not sure the surveyor would be too bothered as the scope of the Surveyor was not finding out why the floors were damaged

With so much rain recently concerned if more damage has been done especially as the kitchen is nearest to the garden

Our problem is trying to find clear cut evidence that the pipes caused the damage to the whole of the ground as there could be other reasons

Jim Littlehampton

17:42 PM, 16th December 2019
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Gary Nock at 16/12/2019 - 10:31
Would the insurers being interested when the flooring has already been replaced ?

They would just claim that we should have gone to them before replacing the flooring.

Jim Littlehampton

17:46 PM, 16th December 2019
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Michael Bond at 16/12/2019 - 13:28
Yes that is a good idea with the pipes. We do need to do something urgently and not sure what damage has been done to the new flooring in the meantime. This will take time to resolve

Jim Littlehampton

17:49 PM, 16th December 2019
About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 16/12/2019 - 09:00
I will see if the surveyor we used a few months ago can update their report but doubt it and may have to undertake a new survey.


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