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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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my ceiling fell through in bedroom and lounge the landlord

Resolved Question:

my ceiling fell through in bedroom and lounge the landlord came in and shored it up with wood slats
the landlord was doing a complete renovation work on the flat above
as a leaseholder who is responsible for the repair
am doing this for a friend and can only afford to pay £20
michael
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

do I understand that the landlord is refusing to replace and make good the ceiling please?

Customer:

Dear XXXXX

Customer:

Thanks the landlord so far has refused to do the work and has sent an invoice for £4000 for the work to be done

Joshua :

Thanks. Do you rent the flat or do you own the flat as a leaseholder?

Customer:

99 year lease

Customer:

approx. 80 years left

Joshua :

Thanks. What was the cause of the collapse. Do you know?

Customer:

the last tenant who rented died and the landlord got his flat back then completely renovated ie knocking down wall taking up all the floorboards etc

Joshua :

Thanks so it was the works being carried out by the freeholder that caused the damage? Is this the same person as the freeholder for the block or is he just the leaseholder of the above flat?

Customer:

He's the freeholder of the whole building

Joshua :

Thanks and it was his works being carried out by the freeholder that caused the damage?

Customer:

apparently the flat above our ceiling falling down

Customer:

and He did send in workmen to shore it up immediately

Joshua :

Thanks - have you been able to confirm the position for yourself by inspecting the upstairs flat to ascertain if what he says is true?

Customer:

yes the flat we are talking about is my uncles and the flat above was his sister my mothers who sadly passed away and the work was done after we left the flat above

Joshua :

Thanks. How has the freeholder acquired back the flats? If they owned the leases to the same they dont revert to the leaseholder because the tenant passes away?

Customer:

my mother was a paying tenant she was not a leaseholder my sister lived with her and agreed with the landlord to be moved into a smaller flat

Customer:

thus giving back the flat to the landlord the freholder

Joshua :

I see thank you.

Customer:

the above flat has now been renovated and there are new tenants living there

Joshua :

Thanks. if you can demonstrate that the damage was caused to your flat by either the actions of the landlord all the negligence of the landlord in failing to maintain parts of his flats for which he is responsible under the lease personally as leaseholder of those flats, you have the basis for a claim against the landlord. If the damage was caused by an accident that was not the fault of the landlord in terms of negligence or otherwise then there is no basis for a claim against the landlord personally. the first step is to establish precisely what collapsed and who was responsible for the structure in question. you may need the assistance of a surveyor to identify precisely what structures were at fault. Your insurer may be able to assist with this particularly if you have legal cover in place

Customer:

we have checked and there is no insurance in place

Customer:

So our only course is to establish that it was the landlords responsibility due to the work down and to get a surveyor in to verify is that correct

Joshua :

Do you have personal contents cover?

Customer:

yes

Joshua :

Thanks. personal contents cover can include legal assistance insurance which may be of use depending upon your policy.

Joshua :

accordingly, the first stage is to establish what exactly has collapsed and who is responsible for the structure that has collapsed. If it is joists between flats, this will typically fall to the freeholder in terms of responsibility. If it is internal plaster that has collapsed, this would typically fall to the individual leaseholder concerned

Customer:

we have contents cover only will contact them and ask

Customer:

its large cracks and falling plaster

Joshua :

What caused the cracks in your plaster - was it collapsing joists from above?

Customer:

are best action is to speak with the insurance cover firm then if no joy contact a surveyor to establish the why it happenned

Customer:

not suire all we know is that there are numerour cracks in bedroom that have been shored up with 10 planks of wood

Customer:

and in the lounge a large crack with another board holing it up

Customer:

we believe it was done due to demolishing walls in the flat above there was a lot of noise.

Joshua :

from what you say, it sounds as if joists and joinery have collapsed or moved rather than mere plasterwork from above and if this is the case, you will almost certainly find that the lease provides that the freeholder is responsible for maintenance of the same. if this is correct, if the freeholder can be shown to have been negligent either in maintaining the joists or in respect of works he carried out which caused the damage, then you will have a claim against the freeholder for damage caused to your flat. As above, it may be that your insurer will be able to assist with the appointment of a surveyor to assess and establish the cause of the damage depending upon the level of your cover. If not, you may consider appointing a survey of your own negotiating a fixed fee for his service in order to establish the cause of the damage

Joshua :

if you can establish that the freeholder is liable as above, then you have the basis of the claim against the freeholder. You can consider obtaining to contractors to quote for repairing the damage caused and then issuing proceedings against the freeholder in the County court. The simplest way to issue proceedings is by using www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Customer:

great thank You for your time and advise

Customer:

Joshua

Joshua :

from what you say, the suspicion would be that the damage was caused by works being carried out by the freeholder to his flats and accordingly he would be liable personally as leaseholder of the flat or flats on which he carried out work. You may consider moving swiftly in order to establish liability. If you allow matters to go on too long, evidence may be lost as works continue. If you need to issue proceedings, you can claim back up to £400 worth of expert fees and costs in any claim in respect of the surveyor for example

Customer:

thanks for your help that's it will take your advice and relay to my uncle michael

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Customer:

Thanks if we need more assistants will revert to You will leave a feedback have a good weekend

Joshua :

Many thanks

Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25358
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Joshua and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.
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