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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22620
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Hi, Im the owner of a downstairs flat. The owner of the upstairs flat is the freehol

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Hi, I’m the owner of a downstairs flat. The owner of the upstairs flat is the freeholder.I pay management & insurance policy fees to their management agency.Previously a pipe upstairs was leaking, damaging my property.Following an insurance claim &the repairs done, the agency paid the £100 excess.Now another leak in the same place has occurred. The excess is now£1000 due to the history of water damage from the above flat. After several emails & calls to the agency regarding their responsibility to pay the excess receiving no response, my solicitor has tried the same to be told " With regards XXXXX XXXXX excess, this leak has no connection to the previous leak which was from the washing machine. This leak occurred as a result of a pipe under the floor springing a leak. This is not the fault of anyone or anyone’s negligence, it is an occurrence that can happen in flats-the Landlord, or in fact the leaseholder is not responsible for the payment of the excess.”Do i need to take them to court
Have you had your own inspection done?




The solicitor is talking rubbish but then again, he is acting for his
client.

It is not something that "can happen in flats"



if it just happen in flats, then flats all over the country would be
flooded. In addition, it must have happened in that particular area (whatever
the area was) for a reason. Badly fitted pipe, something rubbing against it, a
nail or screw, whatever. They don't just happen, someone has been negligent.



If this was a service item (which it is not) and it would not be reasonably
viewable on an inspection, then the owner of the upstairs flat may possibly
have a get out. However in my opinion there is no get out in this stop



I would write back to the solicitor and advise him that these kind of
incidents do not happen in anything which is not a service item. There is
obvious negligence with regard to the installation. You do not accept his
cloudy explanation



Tell them that you have been advised to issue legal proceedings without
further notice. Ask them are they instructed to accept service of papers.



If they confirm that they are, then the documents served on the landlord as
the defendant's solicitors address.



If the solicitor deals with this or then, it will cost more in legal costs
than they are actually arguing over. Even if you go to court and lose, they
will not get their solicitors costs back other than a fixed fifty pounds.



None of this is your fault and you should not have to pay the excess.



Can I help further?



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me today and in general because I am off-line and online all day and evening
(and often at weekends)



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Law


 


thanks fo the response.


 


Please can you clarify what you mean by:


 


"If this was a service item (which it is not) and it would not be reasonably
viewable on an inspection,"


 


and


 


"these kind of incidents do not happen in anything which is not a service item"


 


I cant quite understand this wording.


 


My solicitor is dealing with the agenct direct. They have not employed a solicitor. I can ask my solicitior to tell them I will issue legal proceedings without further notice and ask them are they instructed to accept service of papers, which they should be as the are dealing with my solictor on behalf of the freeholder?





I take your belief that it will cost more in legal costs than they are actually arguing over. Even if I go to court and lose, they will not get their solicitors costs back other than a fixed fifty pounds.


 


This appears to be the only leverage I have!


 


Please can you tell me what court I should go to? My solicitor has said I need another solicitor more experienced in court claims than she.


 


thanks


 


Nicky


 


 

I would DiY in small claims court. www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

It isnt worth paying a solicitor

A service item is something that needs maintenance. Pipes do not need maintenance, they should just lie there unseen for ever.

If it was, say, a pump which needed inspection and last time it was inspected)a reasonable time ago) it was fine, then that isnt negligent. Pipes dont need service or inspection.

Please bear with me over weekend.
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