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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 9141
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I own a top floor leasehold flat currently tenanted. Last year

Customer Question

I own a top floor leasehold flat currently tenanted. Last year a problem occurred with the boiler and subsequently a leak was discovered from a central heating pipe embedded in the concrete floor. This was fixed in November with a slight delay as the floor of the room had to be dug up. It was reported to me that there was a patch of damp on the ceiling/side wall by the estate agents managing the tenants of my flat and the flat below. The flat below was empty and as the flat was under offer I was not able to go inside and check although I did ask to visit at the time. A surveyor for the sale of the flat below noted the water mark. The sale proceeded and the new owners tried to make an insurance claim for the damage. The freeholders managing agents said the excess for water damage was £20,000. I was sent to quotes from the new owners via the agents for redocation works initially in the region of £10,000 now approx. £4000 I ignored the quotes because I did not think they were genuine as they were not on headed paper, there was no company name, address phone number or email address. I thought the new owners were trying to get all redecoration done at my expense. The quotes included removing mouldy carpets bleeding the central heating system removing radiators curtain tracks etc. Subsequently I have been sent copies of correpondance from the previous owner to the new buyers solicitors saying the insurance claim would be agreed by the managing agents to cover the works.
Now the managing agents are saying I am responsible for the excess or the cost of the works.
Are I legally responsible for the excess for their claim? Can they sue me for their redecoration bill? I know the flat was empty for a period of time including the time when I repaired the leak. This period of time clearly affected the flats condition - does this have any bearing. I have not accepted responsibility at any time but I did forward the bill from my plumber showing the pipework was fixed.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask if you were aware of any problems in relation to the pipe please before you became aware of the leak you mention please?
Do you know the cause of the leak - i.e. why it occured following investigation?
Finally did the central heating pipe only serve your flat - i.e. it was not a communal central heating pipe?
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
Would you like to continue with the above?