Should I sue the plumber or the owner of the flat above?

by Readers Question

11:09 AM, 16th March 2017
About 2 years ago

Should I sue the plumber or the owner of the flat above?

Make Text Bigger
Should I sue the plumber or the owner of the flat above?

I own a number of properties. In December we had a water leak into one of our properties coming from the flat above. This caused around £1000 of damage. We have been trying to ascertain since this time, who is liable. At the time a local plumbers was putting in a new shower in the flat above.

We have been advised now that the plumbers have verbally admitted liability that the works carried out to the shower in Apartment above in December caused the leak and the subsequent damage to our property. The information given to me is that the plumbers installed a valve which was not designed for the shower being installed, therefore one end of this valve should have been capped off to prevent water escaping, however this did not happen and therefore the leak became present. The plumbers have had to re-attended the property above ours and have altered the valve in position and ensured no further leaks will occur and are currently re-tiling the area in the bathroom to make this good again. The agent of the flat above has requested a report in writing from the plumbers to confirm this.

As a result of this, I have been advised that the owner is not be liable for the damages incurred and a claim can therefore be made to through the plumbers liability insurance for the damages caused to our property as a result of their negligence.

Can anyone confirm this is the correct procedure, that I would make contact directly with the plumbers to make my claim for the damage via their insurance. Or would I go via my insurance company and they make the claim against the plumber on my behalf. Whatever happens I don’t want to be penalised on my future insurance.

I do not want a claim against my insurance.

If anyone could advise the correct procedure, this would be appreciated.

Charles



Comments

Neil Patterson

11:10 AM, 16th March 2017
About 2 years ago

Hi Charles,

I would definitely ask the advice of my insurers making it clear you are not claiming against them.

Charles de Lastic

11:29 AM, 16th March 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Neil Patterson" at "16/03/2017 - 11:10":

Thanks Neil - good point

Murray Smith

9:21 AM, 17th March 2017
About 2 years ago

I would think the responsibility lies with the owner of the property and would expect their insurance to cover the costs of the repairs. It would then be up to them/their insurance company to decide whether to pursue the plumber for their costs.

David Price

10:12 AM, 17th March 2017
About 2 years ago

Trying to think logically through this problem, you have no contract with the plumber so I do not see how you can take any action against him. You do have a relationship with the flat owner, determined by your lease and the freehold title so I consider that the way to go would be to take action against your fellow leaseholder who in turn would take action against the plumber. Hopefully this will be settled amicably rather than though the courts.
Just my opinion, there are others on this site far better qualified in legal processes who may be able to give a definitive answer.

Charles de Lastic

10:21 AM, 17th March 2017
About 2 years ago

Thanks For the comments so far - the help is appreciated - we do have full details of the plumber.
Just did not want to go through our insurance as even declaring it to them seems to result in an increase n next years premiums even if no claim is made.

Ian Narbeth

11:14 AM, 17th March 2017
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Charles de Lastic" at "17/03/2017 - 10:21":

"Just did not want to go through our insurance as even declaring it to them seems to result in an increase n next years premiums even if no claim is made."

This is a common approach but highly dangerous. Insurance is a contract of utmost good faith. On renewal or taking out a new policy you have a duty to disclose all matters that would affect the mind of a prudent insurer. If you do not the insurers may avoid liability whether the subsequent claim relates to water leakage or something unrelated.

True, the insurers may never find out but if they do and discover you have deliberately concealed the matter from them they may deny all cover or even, if they have paid out, seek to recover the money paid to you.

Puzzler

19:40 PM, 17th March 2017
About 2 years ago

Water damage is usually the responsibility of the freeholder who will have block buildings insurance. You should check with your block managers first.


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

And the landlord vote goes to - ?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More