Substantial water damage not reported to me by tenant or agent!

Substantial water damage not reported to me by tenant or agent!

9:25 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago 9

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Hi, a recent inspection received from my managing agent revealed substantial water damage to the upstairs bathroom walls and flooring and also damage to the walls and ceiling of the downstairs cloakroom underneath.

My builder believes the damage was caused over many months if not years by the tenants being careless when bathing/showering and some failure of the grout and mastic around the bath.

The tenant failed to report the damage and the agent hasn’t carried out the 6 monthly inspections for at least the last 3 years (I know I should have kept on top of this, more fool me) The agent is not accepting any blame for this situation and suggests evicting the tenants (a family of 5).
Should I insist the tenant pays for the damage, cancel my contracts with the agent or foot the bill myself and increase the rent.

Any advice?

Thanks,

Pete


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Comments

Barbaracus

9:53 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

1. Repair the damage at your own cost, especially if it is sealant/grout issue. If the water damage is extensive I would say it's sealant/grout failure rather than carelessness.

2. Sack that agent immediately. If they have not inspected the house in over 3 years then they don't deserve to be an agent.

3. Employ a new agent, make sure inspections are carried out regularly and if it turns out water damage is starting to come back and is due to carelessness, get a warning sent to the tenants.

4. You could increase the rent if you want to - depends on how you feel about that.

John

14:39 PM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I had a similar experience a couple of years ago.
1. You will have to pay the repair costs yourself as the tenant probably has no money.
2. Evict the tenant they don’t deserve to live in your house as they show it zero respect.
3. Sack the agents immediately as they are clearly useless.
4. Appoint new agents and stay on their backs as regards inspections etc. It is your property not theirs.

RoseD

16:21 PM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Agree with what's already been said. Do not ever rely on agents doing inspections on a level that you would. Can you claim on insurance? Usually excess charge for water damage but worth checking.

Cider Drinker

18:09 PM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

It should be an insured risk.

Graham Bowcock

21:01 PM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Unfortunately this is the sort of thing that a tenant doesn't see.

I doubt the tenant would contribute, but no harm in asking.

The agent is at fault for failing to inspect as agreed (and paid for!). Whilst they didn't cause the damage there's no harm in asking them for a contribution as they failed to spot it in time. They ought to be thoroughly enbarrassed.

Probably not worth troubling your insurer with; insurance usually pays out on a specific incident, e.g.a burst pipe, not routine misuse.

Paul

8:02 AM, 9th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Thank you all for your comments.
I have consulted my insurance broker but they’re saying it’s a maintenance issue so if I make a claim it will likely be rejected.
The letting agent concerned is an online agency generally well respected and I have been happy with their service until now. The tenants have lived there 7 years and been reasonable and polite. I don’t know why they haven’t reported the damage.
I’m still in talks (emails) with the agent and hoping we can come to some agreement so I don’t have to ditch them.

PH

9:01 AM, 9th April 2024, About 2 months ago

No room for sentiment where agents are concerned. 3 years without an inspection is a diabolical service and they've seen straight through you. Don't reward them for total incompetence !!

Allan Thornton

12:59 PM, 10th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I take it is a shower over bath situation. If so install a 1400mm high, 150-300mm wide splashguard of some description and a permanently fixed curtain rail above. Also install a safety grab rail horizontally.
The tenants are most likely going to call you if either splashguard or curtain rail gets damaged. Every 2 or 3 years reinstate your silicone protection.
Seal the floor edges as best you can
If you have had the tenants 7 years, do not waste your investment, so keep them....
It sounds like you have not upped the rent in a few years so give them the good news. Every £10 is 120 a year in income so pitch it kindly. So you recover costs of redecoration (only) in 2 to 3 years.
IMHO if one of my tenants gives me no problems for 7 years then fantastic news.
Hope that helps

robert fisher

7:39 AM, 13th April 2024, About a month ago

this is a very common problem, unfortunately the damage is caused behind the bath panel. I have had to replace joists and parts of the sub floor on a number of occasions despite regular inspections. Water finds a way.
I now ask my maintenance team to remove the bath panel and inspect behind it on an annual basis. Also if possible accompany your agent on inspections at least once a year. You will get to know who your good tenants are , who needs some pointers if there a re tenant caused damp issues or other things not picked up by an agent during an inspection. It also marks your agents cards that they can't ignore carrying out inspections.

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