9:34 AM, 18th December 2023, About 3 months ago 10
Hello, I am the landlord of a property which is divided into two flats, I am also the owner/leaseholder of one of the flats with an overseas leaseholder owning the other. As a landlord it is my obligation to make sure the building is insured and I request the 50% share from the overseas leaseholder, which he duly pays.
Over the past 24 months, the lower flat which is owned by myself has had severe water ingress. The ingress is only apparent when it has been raining heavily for several days. The ingress has caused considerable damage to walls, doors and lighting fixtures. Fortunately, the insurance has agreed to pay for the internal redecoration and rectification of the damaged area but only after the cause has been dealt with, insurance will not cover this as they see it as a maintenance problem.
We have been in communication with the leaseholder of the above property over these 24 months as it appears the source of the water ingress originates on their terrace which forms part of the roof for lower demise. We have had several drainage experts view the area and it seems they think that the problem is that of a poorly constructed conservatory that was erected by the upstairs leaseholder prior to our purchase.
We have requested from him any plans, or landlord certificates that would have been required for him to build the extension but nothing has been forwarded. Planning permission was approved by local council and I have managed to view the basic drawing which unfortunately lacks any detailed information on the rainwater drainage.
It is apparent that the conservatory has been built over the original gully and drain. This gulley is left open so that when rainwater is falling heavily over a long duration the gully fills up and drain cannot cope so the level of water seeps under the conservatory floor and finds a low spot to release itself into the lower flat.
We have had a drainage engineer install a pipe into the gulley (underneath conservatory) so as to direct rainwater into drain which then distributes water through the building and out into the public drainage system. A baffle is fitted to the entrance of the pipe so that rainwater flow is slowed down and the terrace will have to cope with the excess until the pipe and drain can accommodate this rainwater. Drainage specialists were unable to send their investigative camera into the drain as it is due to the angle and it not being within a pipe.
These works which have been urgently required so as to rectify the lower demise are not guaranteed to eliminate water ingress completely but they hope it will certainly reduce the flow. Problem is with the poorly built conservatory which requires its floor to be dug up and the gully dealt with correctly.
The overseas leaseholder has been asked for 50% of the intermediary works but is refusing to pay, insisting it is not a problem for himself but that of the other leaseholder. I feel I have now reached the crossroads of being polite and need expert advice on how to go forward with perhaps exposing his illegal build, negligence and forcing him to rectify.
Can any Property118 please advise.
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