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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 21993
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Hello I am a property owner, and have a share of a freehold. Their are 5 flats in the bul

Resolved Question:

Hello I am a property owner, and have a share of a freehold. Their are 5 flats in the buliding and we have building insurence. My downstaris neighbour has complained of off and on leaks from our bathroom. I have had numerous plumbers in, sealed the bathroom, and they have found no evidence of what causes the leak.

I have taken action, have also told the property agents about it.

I want to know my rights if the tenent below decides to sue me for property damage.

Is their any type of additional insurence I can take out

Thank you Nadine
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.
Is there indeed a leak?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not consistantly, last time this happened was 5 months ago. This time all the infomation I have is that it could be related to the heating as the water was hot and it has stopped leaking now.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.

I can appreciate that they have not found evidence of what causes
the leak but have they actually found evidence of a leak.?

I need to know whether there is a leak or not, however infrequent
or spasmodic it may be

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes, last night their was a leak. their ceiling


this is what the neighbour wrote to me



Your bathroom at the back leaked all last night into my apartment and has damaged the floorboards and the ceiling above.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.

If it has done that, there must be some evidence in the upstairs flat.

Water does not leak out of a flat and cause damage to the one underneath unless it causes some kind of evidence where it has leaked from .


You are going to have to establish where the leak comes from in order to be able to fix it and also to be able to establish that it is coming from a pipe or fitting that you are responsible for .

I assume that your plumbers have removed copious floorboards around where the leak is coming through the ceiling .


I was for many years in the building trade so I know quite a bit about the construction of buildings

Customer: replied 2 years ago.



I can find no evidence unless I rip apart my bathroom.


My question is legally, on whom does the onus lie.


Building insurence, i.e the building as we are talking about the pipes potentially, or me?



Customer: replied 2 years ago.

HI I just need to understand the onus from a legal point of view. Of course if I rip up my bathroom I might find a leak. But then I would have to fork out payment for this.


I might also find that the leak is in the pipes, and then logically the cost is for the building to fix it



Expert:  Stuart J replied 2 years ago.


The leaks must come from pipes that you are responsible for and
which serve the flat exclusively for you to be responsible. If the leaks come
from your pipes, then you are responsible.


If they come from pipes which do not
serve the flat exclusively or which you are not responsible for (unlikely under
the floorboards ) then you are not responsible for them.


the leak is going to be either in the
bathroom fittings or the pipes and as I said earlier, if the pipes exclusively
serve your flat , it doesn't matter whether they are under the floor, they are
your responsibility and not that of the freeholder.


it is not a case of ripping the
bathroom apart, it is a case of taking up the floorboards ( which will have
been up before because there are pipes underneath ) in the location vertically
above where the leak is , to ascertain where it is coming from.


if it is not coming from your bathroom,
then it would only be coming from the bathroom above, and in that case, there
would be ample evidence of it running completely through your flat.


If it is not coming from your bathroom but coming through a wall
for example and running through your bathroom and then out through the ceiling,
then you have a claim yourself against wherever the leak is coming from.

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Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 21993
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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