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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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Upstairs flat will not pay for damage caused to my flat

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I live in a flat within a building which has been converted into 4 flats. The top flat which is above mine has had cracked pipes / a leak and water has been dripping into my bathroom. She keeps turning the water off but, after apparently having it fixed, every time she uses the washing machine or shower etc it drips through again and is damaging the ceiling. On top of this, mushrooms are starting to grow where the walls meet the ceilings. When I spoke to her she says that she cannot afford to get it fixed and that insurance will not cover pipes. Unfortunately the management company is made up of her as the director and myself as company secretary. The four flat owners basically run it. If she is claiming that this cannot be sorted out as the director of the management company, I do not know what I am supposed to do next. We are both the owners of the flats..


Any advice you could provide would be much appreciated. Thank you. Clair

Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.

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Do you know roughly how much this would cost to fix?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hello, thanks for getting back to me

Unfortunately I have no idea at the moment as I only had a conversation with her last night. I extremely bad at dealing with confrontation and hoped that might be avoided.




With regard to the confrontation that you are bad at, you might
need to get good at it!

Right, the legal situation: if these pipes serve her flat on their
own and don't serve anyone else, then she is responsible for them and she is
also responsible for any damage that they cause. If her insurance doesn't cover
it, she needs to get better insurance and meanwhile, in the interim, find her
cheque book because she is going to have to pay to this personally (get the
boxing gloves out) if it is not covered by the insurance.

Please bear in mind that lots of people use the excuse that the
insurance will not pay as an excuse not to pay or as an excuse not to actually
put a claim in because they do not want their premiums to rise next year!

If the pipes are pipes which serve all the properties also, then
the management company/freeholders (all of you) are responsible for the costs
between you.

At this stage, you are not bothered particularly how much it costs
to fix her pipes, what you are bothered about is the cost of getting rid of the
fungus, the damp, and redecorating.

If you have that all fixed and she does not repair the leak, then
she is going to have to keep paying every time you sue her for the cost of the
repairs, ad nauseam, ad infinitum, until she puts her hands in her pockets and
fixes the leak.

With regard to flats I probably get more questions on here
concerning leaks in flats where the upstairs one is leaking into the downstairs
one and the upstairs one (surprise surprise) says that that is not covered on
insurance, than any other single category involving flats. Second to that come
queries over service charge I think.

I'm sorry to have to tell you quite simply that if she will not
get the job fixed, you are faced with suing her in court although an initial
solicitors letter may focus her mind. I obviously cannot do anything about the
confrontation and if she takes umbrage at it I'm sorry to say that that is
something that you are going to have to deal with. You are obviously concerned
about upsetting her which she does not seem to reciprocate that concern for you

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PS Experts on here are online and off-line all day each day and weekends
so please bear with me if I do not get back to you immediately.

Stuart J and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much :) I will get the gloves!

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