Leak from upstairs flat – liability?

Leak from upstairs flat – liability?

10:56 AM, 30th January 2023, About A year ago 4

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Dear Community,

I am facing a situation and your opinions will be greatly appreciated. I am a leaseholder of one flat that is my only property. I have lovely tenants living in this flat. There has been a substantial leak from a flat right above the flat adjacent to mine. Those two flats (next to mine and right above my neighbours) are managed by the same Agency, let’s call this Agency A.

As it turned out the tenant of the above flat reported the issue on the toilet leak to Agency A back in November. The tenant from the below flat also reported the issue on stains and mould to Agency A in November. Since then their Agency A did not attend to the issue nor did they sent a contractor to rectify this until last Friday as a result of escalation.

As per my Agency B who has just inspected my flat, there is water damage to all flooring and also water damage to walls behind kitchen and the smell of sewage and dry rot is unbearable which he personally believes the property would be deemed inhabitable. I picked on this with Agency A to address, to which she replied to me that if my flat is deemed inhabitable, that will be for the landlord [myself] to resolve, and she suggested to ‘may be best to do this through insurers’.

Who bears liability for fixing the problems in my flat and the adjacent flat given Agency A failed to address the leak in the above property since November?

Also, the smell in my flat is disgusting, the tenants will clearly need to be removed from this environment and given temporary accommodation until it all dried and fixed.

On a separate note, there is a building insurance for the block which is already of high premium, and claiming through it will increase the future premium and the leaseholders will need to pay the excess through the service charges.

Did Agency A act with negligence and duty of care failing to address the leakage for at least 2 months?

Thank you,

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Graham Bowcock

10:25 AM, 31st January 2023, About A year ago

You have no recourse to Agency A, they merely represent the landlord and act on their instructions. You do not know what their instructions were and have no contract with them.

Your correct channel is through the block management representives/freeholder. It ought to be covered by the block insurance.

Judith Wordsworth

10:27 AM, 31st January 2023, About A year ago

Leak from flat above go to the block insurers.

Double check you lease to see if you or the owner above a liable for pipes between their floor and your ceiling. Impossible to regularly check such pipe work but some leases have this drafted.

Loss Assessor

16:25 PM, 31st January 2023, About A year ago

You should have reported the leak/damage to whoever you pay your service charges, which includes Insurance. In my experience the Management companies are slow in coming forward and in many cases try holding back in claiming from the block policy. You should not have to live in a sewerage infested property. You are entitled to a copy of the Policy Schedule and you should ask for it. The schedule will show the premiums and the Excess that will have to be paid and most importantly will give you an idea of the what your flat is insured for. The person in who's flat the leak occurred should have made a claim.


16:27 PM, 1st February 2023, About A year ago

I think you should probably contact your insurers to deal with the matter, but inform them of the circumstances as I think the landlord of the property above you may be liable as his agent has acted negligently.

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