Question: how to deal with a faulty leaky roof?

by Readers Question

13:49 PM, 13th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

Question: how to deal with a faulty leaky roof?

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Question: how to deal with a faulty leaky roof?

I had a loft conversion done in 2006 and since I have had leaks. The loft conversion company has reluctantly repaired each time but only ever did a “patchy” job even though their own roofers said the roof needed to be fully replaced.

The last repair was three years ago where once again they did a very temporary job. The roof is now massively leaking (more than ever before). This time major repairs will be needed including replacing the ceiling in the loft area.

As the property is tenanted, do I need to pay for the tenants temporary accommodation while repairs are taking place?

Is the loft conversion company responsible for repairs? What are my options?

Many thanks

Gloria



Comments

Dancinglandlord

7:42 AM, 14th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

I had a new roof some years ago which continued to leak in all the same places despite the roofer telling me that the new roof would fix these problems. He came back a few times in a similar fashion to your roofer, but nothing changed and when he got fed up he tried shouting at me and blinding me with rubbish excuses. My biggest mistake was taking him to the small claims court. He had legal insurance and I didn't (he'd clearly been in this situation before). I won despite him having representation in court and me defending myself. However I was not awarded costs and ultimately although he had to find £5000, which he paid me slowly without interest, I also had to find £3000 upfront for legal advice that was never reimbursed. So my advice - DO NOT GO THROUGH THE SMALL CLAIMS COURT, go through the normal court system. I now have insurance for legal costs!

Annie Landlord

9:03 AM, 14th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

Your AST should set out the arrangements offered if the property becomes inhabitable. Mine, which are standard National Landlords Association ASTs, state that rent will not be charged for the duration that the property is uninhabitable. Thus, if the tenant moved in temporarily with family they would be quids in, if they moved to somewhere with a higher rent they would need to top up. I sympathise with the leaking roof issue! My suggestion would be to pay for an independent survey. That would identify where the problems are, though I'm not sure whether you could have any claim against the loft conversion company after all this time, unless the survey shows that the repairs they have carried out were defective. Good luck!

Dancinglandlord

9:31 AM, 14th November 2018
About 4 weeks ago

I had an independent survey as Annie suggested. I enlisted the FMB who sent a chartered building surveyor who said that the roofer was at fault and gave him 6 months to remedy the work. When he didn't, they didn't do anything - they even kept him on as a member! Instead they recommended that I take it to court. The FMB's report wasn't much use in court, although it did add gravitas to my case and showed the roofer in a poor light as he hadn't fixed the problems, but it wasn't the point that the case turned upon. (He was eventually persuaded to leave the FMB.) If the problems are shown to be due to a 'latent' defect (i.e. one that existed at the time the work was carried out, but only later became evident), then you still have a case. If you are facing a whole new roof it may be worth taking it to court, but if you can avoid it somehow then I wouldn't recommend court. It takes over your life and is very stressful. Get a 2nd opinion from a recommended roofer, get a quote and if you can afford to pay him, get it done and move on. I repaired my roof before I went to court as I had tenants in and couldn't leave them with a leaking roof. However, the judge in my case DIDN'T allow for the repairs I had done because she said I had made a 'commercial' decision - I felt that was wholly unfair, but that's the court system for you. She was a fair and canny judge and saw through the roofer, but that one never made sense to me.


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