Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.
Is there anything in your lease that sets out who is responsible for the sewer pipes please?
If they have issued a Section 20 notice, havent they accepted that works need completing?
Thank you Alex.
Yes, I just need the information above please/.
sorry Alex, this chat system is playing up on my end. they accept works need done but aren't moving on it. They say to get the money from the upstairs owner will take another 3 months at least. The works can't wait that long though, the surveyor feels they are necessary immediately. The lease sets out that building issues are covered by the freeholder but I will need to check if the pipes are mentioned specifically. It is the same system used by the other flats though so feel it can't rest solely with me.
Well the first thing to say is that the sewer pipes are their responsibility.
That can not be yours of course.
If they refuse to carry out works then you need a Court Order to make them.
You would need to write to them, demand works be done or say you will go to Court within 28 days
If they refuse then you should get a Solicitor to write a letter, set out your position and ask they carry out the works, otherwise you will go to Court.
Finally if they still refuse you would need to issue proceedings and seek a Court order that they do the work AND refund you the £780
Technically they are in breach of contract and you could sue for loss and damage and request that they carry out the work.
If you have to pay for a Solicitor to represent you, if you win then you can ask the Court for your costs from the Landlord.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Well because it was an emergency I had to have the works done last night. The drain problem couldn't have gone without attention for another day so I have already paid the £780 and had it cleared. Presumably I should be reimbursed for this?
Yes you should and this is the process you should follow:
You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this recorded delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.
The other works to the exterior are predominantly needed to the upstairs but have an effect on my flat via leaks. Should I seek a court order for these to be completed?
Yes you are able to do this.
But do steps 1) and 2) first.
Can I clarify anything?