Recently purchased flat has prior leak into flat below!

Recently purchased flat has prior leak into flat below!

16:23 PM, 5th September 2014, About 10 years ago 12

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I purchased a first floor flat beginning of August, it was completely redecorated, carpeted and prepared for letting and a tenant moved in 24th August. Recently purchased flat has prior leak into flat below

A week later the guy renting in the flat below told my tenant that there is a leak in his ceiling from my flat above. Upon inspection the leak has clearly been going on for some considerable time – mature mold growth, etc.

I’ve been approached by the management company to fix the leak, however, I understand that this is my responsibility now to do so but I feel aggrieved that as this leak has been going on some time before I purchased the property and that the guy below knew of the leaks existence this should of been reported by him beforehand and the previous owner should of repaired it.

I had no idea of the leak myself as it is an internal leak somewhere within the walls/floorboards and not obvious from inside my flat.

Any advice gratefully welcome.

Mark Mardleleak

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Neil Patterson

16:28 PM, 5th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Mark,

The only thing I can think of is that if you could prove the selling agent knew of the leak, and didn't tell you, then you could complain under misdescription of the property. Or nondisclosure if there has already been a complaint made by the neighbor.

Nick Faulkner

16:48 PM, 5th September 2014, About 10 years ago

You could spend a lot of time chasing this up and distributing blame.... and you still might not get paid.
It is unfair but unless you can easily prove it was a fault that should have been known by the selling agent or your surveyor you should repair it ASAP and write the matter off .
Just get on with life.... better for the guy below , your tenant and for your stress levels.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

16:52 PM, 5th September 2014, About 10 years ago

I agree with the above, perhaps better to put this one down to bad luck and move on.

James Noble

16:54 PM, 5th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Mark - try looking under the shower. Neil - what is the insurance situation on this? Can Mark claim on his household insurance? Can the tenant below claim on this? Failing that, can Mark claim on the buildings insurance, as arranged by the Management Company? Who pays for a leak in the roof - over to the Management Co? And what about damage caused by leaking roof (wooden floor, etc.)? Might 'loss of rent' while property is repaired also be covered? Or will it all depend on the small print?


17:17 PM, 5th September 2014, About 10 years ago

I assume that this flat is in a block and therefore there should be a block buildings policy in force. Whilst they will not pay for the repair if it is a supply/waste from just one property they will pay the cost of "trace and access" to find the source and the cost of putting right the damage caused. If the leak turns out to be the communal supply/waste then the repair would be down to the block. Hope this helps, Mike

Neil Patterson

18:23 PM, 5th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Yes I would agree that checking with the Freeholders block policy first would be a great start.

The concern about using your own insurance is that they may consider it a problem incurred before the policy was put in force and you would then also have a claim against your name which increases future renewals.

Chris Amis

22:08 PM, 5th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Before you rush to claim, you need to check the excess, it could be very high, and then you will have to struggle to get the excess shared among the leaseholders.

And that assumes the managing agent will even put a claim thru, to 'earn' the very high commission on insurance they act as 'claim managers' of course while you are paying for all of this you are not allowed to know the details of the contract and thus if there could be a conflict of interest.

Google leasehold and insurance for eye opening tales of woe.

Welcome to leasehold.

Elaine Hassall

8:59 AM, 6th September 2014, About 10 years ago

We have had this happen in both of our flats in the last few months, a waste pipe under a shower and the same but under a bath. Get yourself a good plumber, it cost about £50.00 on each job. Happy tenant and happy us, don't stress about the little things, just wait until you have a tenant climbing up and down the outside wall of a second floor flat and you have to sort that out!

Ian Cognito

9:22 AM, 6th September 2014, About 10 years ago

You say that the leak is between the walls/floorboards. If so, the previous owner would not have known about it unless the chap in the flat below had reported it to him. If you can prove that the previous owner knew about the fault and did not disclose it, then you would have a claim, though I suspect this is unlikely. I would certainly check the terms of the freeholder's buildings insurance which may well provide cover if the fault is within the fabric of the building.

Mark Mardle

15:09 PM, 6th September 2014, About 10 years ago

Since the post I've had a reply from the management company who said that the tenant below has not reported it before now because he doesn't like to moan even though it has been leaking for many months..

I'll pursue this matter further and maybe the freeholder insurance might cover this?

If not, then I'll just have to take it on the chin and put it down to experience.

Many thanks for all your comments and advice.

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