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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 70282
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I rented a property from an agency for just over 4 years. I kept the property is excellent

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I rented a property from an agency for just over 4 years. I kept the property is excellent condition as I am extremely house proud. I recently moved and spent quite a bit of money, getting the house professionally cleaned, carpets cleaned and garden cleaned up before I moved. On inspection, I was notified that due to a leak from one of the bathrooms there was damage the wall in the living room. I am now told that I am responsible to pay for the repairs as I was told I did not report the leak. Firstly, I was unaware of the leak and not even sure which bathroom they are talking about and secondly, I reported mould on the wall in the living room months ago, but was told it was just due to dampness from the winter. When I moved the sofa on my moving date, the wall was mould right across. It was not as though I ignored the fact the wall was mouldy and that there was a leak, it was more the fact that I was unaware of the leak in the bathroom. My question is am I responsible for this repair a

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

What caused the damage to the wall please?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am not 100% sure but was told it was a leak from a bathroom upstairs.

I see their argument. They are suggesting negligence effectively. They are trying to argue that, although you didn't cause the leak by act or omission, your failure to report it allowed it to cause damage.

Whether or not you are liable will essentially come down to how reasonable it would have been for you to make such a report. Obviously if the leak would have been apparent to any tenant then it would have been reasonable to make a report. If the leak was something you wouldn't see in the course of normal use of the house then it would not. You are not expected to go hunting round the house inspecting the guts of the boiler and the like.

All that said, if you made a report about the mould at least at one point upon the relevant wall then you cannot do much more than that. There's no obligation to nag. One a report is made its not for you to chase up its progress.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo C. and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Does that mean I am reliable for the cost of the repairs?
Sorry for the delay overnight

Its as I've said really, it depends on how reasonable it would have been to detect and report this.