10:52 AM, 10th September 2014, About 8 years ago 23
My flat has suffered from a persistent leak, that is coming into my bedroom ceiling from the flat above me. The landlord of the flat above has said this is my problem, as he has had two builders round to check and they have found nothing. In each case a builder came round, apparently opened his bathroom floor and found no leaks. The first builder charged £168 and the second visit cost £250.
Since no leak has been found, the owner of the flat above has told me it is no longer his responsibility and that I should now pay for a builder to open my ceiling and find the leak. The property has building insurance, shared between the 3 flats, as we have a share of freehold. We manage the property ourselves.
The main problem is the owner of the flat above mine, does not seem to be interested in helping. My theory is that the leak is coming from the shower unit, as the bathroom of the flat above is directly above my bedroom. The leak usually comes through in the morning, before work and is generally about 4 litres of clear water. The owner of the flat above, for some inexplicable reason has denied using his shower when confronted and not let us into his flat during a leak.
The leak first presented itself in late 2012 and we claimed against the insurance. The owner of the flat above claimed to have had the problem fixed and submitted a bill of £168 to the insurer. This seemed very low to me. I was then told to proceed with repair and decoration. This was completed in August of this year. Unfortunately earlier this month, the leak appeared again and the new ceiling has been ruined.
The owner of the flat above me refused to pay the excess in 2012, saying it was my problem. After a lot of tooing and froing I was able to get him to contribute £125, towards the £350 excess.
I really want to know who is responsible and what legal measures I can take? I am quite desperate to get this all sorted out, as my tenant is suffering from the problem and could well move out or take other measures to withhold rent etc.
I do not totally trust the owner of the flat above as he seems to withhold information and is generally uncooperative and defensive. He now insists the problem is mine and my responsibility. He has told me I need to investigate the leak from my side of the ceiling. The insurers have agreed to pay for a trace and access from my side of the ceiling, but will only pay for repairs if the leak is found to be linked to the first original leak. If they say it is a new leak, the excess is now £2,500!
I live and work in Mexico, so access to the property is difficult for me.
Any advise is greatly appreciated.