Landlord liability for water leak in tenement building with DSS tenant?Make Text Bigger
I have owned a first floor flat in an Aberdeen tenement building for 10 years with no problems but this year we had two leaks within a week both affecting the two properties below ours and the communal areas.
The first leak was caused by the washing machine and the second by a tap left on by the tenant.
The tenant at the time was the first ever DSS tenant in this flat and he had been upsetting neighbours for months by his drinking and several visits from emergency services.
My insurers advised that I could not be held liable for damages to the properties below and the owners would have to claim on their own insurance and that we would have to club together and pay the damages to the communal area.
As a gesture of goodwill we paid for the recarpeting of the communal area and all owners clubbed together for the repainting costs which were minimal per flat.
However, the owners of both flats on the ground floor are now claiming that as this was a DSS tenant I am liable for any damages caused. They tell me Aberdeen City Council and the Citizens Advice Bureau have confirmed this.
They are therefore asking me to pay the excesses on their insurance claims which total something in the region of £1500 and are threatening Small Claims Court Action if I don’t pay up.
This flat has never before been the source of any trouble and has been well managed by my excellent local agent. With both the leaks the agent acted immediately and liaised fully with the neighbours throughout and has also had the tenant evicted for his antisocial behavior.
I have asked my insurers for legal advice but would welcome any thoughts / advice from any of you lovely people please.
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