Crack in toilet overflow pipe – can the lardlord refuse to fix?

by Readers Question

10:23 AM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Crack in toilet overflow pipe – can the lardlord refuse to fix?

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Crack in toilet overflow pipe – can the lardlord refuse to fix?

My landlord and I have had a perfect interaction for 3 years until very recently we have fallen out. We had a leak onto the kitchen, coming from the wall into the stove and even affecting one of the sockets. She got a plumber in and they established in came from a crack in the flush overflow pipe. The course of action was to prevent the flush from overflowing (something it does from time to time).overflow pipe

I believe this is silly. Sooner or later, the flush will overflow again (that is why the pipe is there for) and water will invariable fall again all over the wall and kitchen instead of traveling to the garden via the pipe. I also don´t understand why she wouldn’t fix it unless she plans to sell the house soon and perhaps pass it to the new owner, since it isn’t an evidently noticeable problem.

I want her to fix the thing properly, I am very worried that the leak goes directly over electrical sockets and appliances. However, if the flush is working property, there is no problem at all. At the moment there is no leak but I know it will happen again sooner or later.

Additionally, the leak caused a number of bulbs to pop in the ceiling (or so we believe since they all went off at the same time). She called an electrician as well as the plumber and the electrician told her he couldn’t find any fault and that simply the bulbs needed replacement. So she is paying for the plumber but sending us a bill regarding the electrician as it was “only bulbs”.

Is she acting fairly?

Albert



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:26 AM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Albert,

It would seem very silly from the Landlord's perspective not to get this fixed as the consequences could be much worse.

It may be time to Bury the Hatchet and have a sensible conversation for the benefit of you both.

Jon Pipllman

10:46 AM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Just check if the toilet flush has been replaced by one of those with the internal overflow - where the overflow is directed into the toilet bowl rather than using that external pipe

If that is the case, the external pipe is no longer required and you can save your energy.

If the external pipe is still a required part of the set up, the landlord is bonkers not to repair it

Gary Nock

13:40 PM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 places a repairing obligation on the landlord as follows:

" keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling-house (including drains, gutters and external pipes),

(b)to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity)"

So if it falls within this and I am sure it does then the landlord is under a duty to repair

Albert Faustino

13:49 PM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jon Pipllman" at "12/04/2016 - 10:46":

Hi Jon, no, she hasn't replaced the flush but thanks for your suggestion, I will pass it to her. Perhaps she would be prepared to do that if it is cheaper than finding the crack in the pipe and fixing it.

Recardo Knights

16:00 PM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

If it is the overflow pipe a new one is only a few pounds, if cracked wrapping electrical or plastic tape around the pipe will cure the problem for now.
The ballcock may need adjusting or a new washer needs to be fitted. A simple job not really requiring a plumber, so he came and looked and did nothing? I would remove him from my list of maintenance people.

This job can be sorted by a friend or handyman. Have it fixed £20-30 and give the landlord the bill.

your other choice is let it leak and let the landlord have a major repair bill later.

Michael Barnes

16:52 PM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Sounds to me that there is a hazard of which the landlady is aware and is choosing not to fix (the hazard being that when the overflow pipe is used for its normal function it will cause water to leak into an electrical socket, giving the possibility of shock to occupiers of the property).

Whilst I don't know if she is obliged to fix it, should an incident occur she is likely to find her insurance invalidated and face prosecution under Health and Safety legislation.

If it were my property I would get it fixed.

Michael Barnes

17:03 PM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Regarding bulbs, it is unlikely that water would cause bulbs to fail unless
a) They are incandescent and water fell on a hot bulb causing it to crack, or
b) They are energy saving and water penetrated the electronics.

In either case one would expect to see water dripping from the fitting.

If no dripping water, then it is probably just a coincidence.
Replacement of broken bulbs is tenant responsibility unless the Tenancy Agreement says otherwise.

If no dripping water from lights, then it may be reasonable for landlord to pass the cost of investigation on to the tenant

Mark Trenfield

19:16 PM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

I think Neil's advice (above) is good ...... try and have a sensible conversation with your landlord ... and get her to fix the problem with the pipe which she is responsible for!

If she refuses ... hit her where it hurts (in the wallet) ... and find yourself a different landlord / property.

So many amateur landlords focus on saving pennies (by not maintaining their properties) ... so they deserve to lose pounds (in void periods and letting agency fees) .... when they upset their loyal tenants by their meanness.

Good luck!

Alison King

21:07 PM, 12th April 2016
About 3 years ago

I agree that your landlord would be well advised to fix it as soon as possible. I have had dripping overflow pipes on not one but two properties, obscured because the overflow pipes were above flat roof extensions. On both occasions it damaged the brickwork and caused water ingress that was then rapidly made worse by rainwater. One property had an inner wall that became saturated and took weeks to dry out and in the other the ceiling had to be replaced. In both cases the tenant was inconvenienced more than I would have wished.

Michael Barnes

10:14 AM, 13th April 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Trenfield" at "12/04/2016 - 19:16":

Unfortunately, moving also hits the tenant in the pocket, with the cost of moving and fees to set up a new tenancy.


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