Leak into flat below

by Readers Question

10:05 AM, 14th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Leak into flat below

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Leak into flat below

The boiler in my flat leaked into the flat below in May. My tenant rang and told me the owner from downstairs that water was leaking into her flat. As he is in the building trade, he kindly mended it straight away. Leak into flat below

Two weeks later another owner  downstairs sent photos of her mouldy ceiling. It looks like it had been leaking a long time and I was surprised she took so long to let us know.

I said we should wait a month or so for it to dry out.

Then she texted me to say the mould is causing her to have allergies.

I called in my maintenance man who said the ceiling is still sound and he can seal and repaint the whole ceiling, but we still need to wait another month as it is not totally dry. In the meantime she should use anti-mould spray to kill the mould.

She doesn’t want to use the spray and has called in a damp company who want to replace the whole ceiling.

I haven’t gone through my insurance company as I would rather not claim if I don’t have to, but it seems like she is deliberately not helping the situation.

Can anyone suggest where I go from here please?

I trust my maintenance man, who I have used for years and he would not say the ceiling is sound if it wasn’t.

Any suggestions much appreciated.

Thanks

Pam



Comments

Mark Alexander

10:16 AM, 14th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Pam

As strange as it might sound, I don't think this is your problem.

The property should be insured by the freehold management company. It is up to the owner downstairs to contact them and make a claim on the block insurance policy.

The other thing that sounds a bit strange is that nobody has recommended a de-humidifier.

It's also a bit strange that the other neighbour fixed the problem himself. Could it be that he has also had a water problem which has damaged his neighbours property? Whatever the situation, any damage would usually be insured by the block management insurance policy. Obviously you would need to check your lease and the insurance policy to be absolutely sure.

If you want to stay on good terms with the neighbours it may be an idea for you to offer to contribute towards any policy excess as a gesture of good faith, "without prejudice and with no acceptance of liability" of course!

I hope that helps.
.

Pam Mackenzie

11:40 AM, 14th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Hi Mark
Thanks for your advice. I will contact the management company and see what they say.
Just to clarify, the owner downstairs did use a dehumidifier actually and she was the one who sent photos of her ceiling.
Also, my tenant mended the leak because he knew how to.
Thanks once again
Pam

Joe Bloggs

9:24 AM, 19th July 2014
About 4 years ago

1) how do you know the mould isnt the result of condensation rather than a leak? what room is it?
2) how do you know the ceiling is still too damp to paint? have damp meter readings been taken?
3) assuming it is your responsibility, why hasnt your builder wiped off the mould and sterilised it with fungicide solution? ceiling dont need to be dry to do that and that would stop any claims of mould spores causing allergies.

Jill Lucas

15:58 PM, 19th July 2014
About 4 years ago

The highest proportion of landlord insurance claims are from water leaks. It's essential to stop the leak as a matter of urgency otherwise there is the risk of it spreading into other properties. From our experience typical water leaks come from poor sealant around baths, badly fitted shower valves, stop cocks, washing machine connections and of course the roof! At tenant changeover we get our plumber to check services and endeavour to keep on top of all maintenance issues relating to water. We have also had damp/mould issues where washing has been dried on radiators - water has to go somewhere and have installed condensing tumble driers and extractor fans that comply with legislation. You can't be casual with water as it is so damaging. Best to have a 'water' maintenance plan and maybe tie it in with the gas safety check! All the information here is relevant and mould is so often down to the need for good ventilation.

Pam Mackenzie

19:37 PM, 19th July 2014
About 4 years ago

Thanks Mark Alexander.
The Management Company confirmed that the downstairs owner should contact them and claim on the block insurance. As you suggested I said I would pay her excess. We will wait for the insurance assessor's report .....


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