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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have had a flood caused by the upstairs leaseholder - both

Resolved Question:

I have had a flood caused by the upstairs leaseholder - both of us have the same building insurance which is arranged by the freeholder.

I am staying in a hotel now but hte flood occured 7 weeks ago - nothing has been done to rectify it because the freeholder was trying to get a cheap builder in to do the works and because I discovered his fraudulent tactics nothing has progressed.

I have spoken to the adjustor and the underwriter both of whom have been curt, rude and have a disgusting attitude.

My two questons:

Is it worth me employing a lawyer to write to the freeholder asking him what is he going to recompense myself given that he has contravened the leasehold agreement. (the agreement states he must repair the damage within one month of being notified). As a result of no intervention in this case the furniture that couldhave been saved from day one has now rotted - there is mould on not only the ceiling and walls but has gravitated towards the rest of the flat.

Second question - would I have any chances of taking action against the leaseholder upstairs who is negligent as heput in the washing machine pipes leaving me exposed not only to faulty pipes but also hanging electrical wires? I have about £5000 worth of damage and that does not include the stress and loss of earnings incurred as a result of this incident. I was abroad on holiday when the flood occured, thankfully I had rented out my other room whilst away and it was the guy who alerted me to the fact the ceiling has fallen in.

Is it worth my while pursuring either of the people above and what kind of costings would I be looking at.

Thanks for any help. Cathi
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hi, thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name isXXXXX can assist with this.

tdlawyer :

Is the overall amount of your claim less than £10,000?

Customer:

Hi Tony

Customer:

in terms of claim for furniture and my valuables it wouldnt be more than 5.000

Customer:

however, the freeholder has told me that to repair the physical damage under

Customer:

the buildings insurance he is saying he has to pay for some of it which is why he was trying to put in a cheap quote viahis own bilder

Customer:

I have been given the runaround on this and have no clear pathway ahead

tdlawyer :

okay.

Customer:

I had no contents insurance but in terms of the stress, especiallywhilst on holiday and since returnign and dealing with the freeholder my health has suffered. I am in a hotel at the moment

Customer:

unable to work as this has stressed me out

tdlawyer :

Then in answer to whether you need a lawyer, that is no, however, it's always better to use one if you can.

tdlawyer :

Stress isn't something you can usually claim for in cases like this.

tdlawyer :

If your claim value exceeds £10,000, then I would always suggest you get a lawyer as you're out of the small claims limits then and you have a big costs risk if you lose at court.

Customer:

no but I have lost a lot of clothes, laptop etc but its not just those things I am wanting answers to

Customer:

the freeholder, in essence has contravened the leaseholder agreement

Customer:

what can I do about that?

tdlawyer :

I see. If he fails to put the damage right, as he is obliged to, then you could either i) sue him for the amount to put it right, then use that money to correct it, or ii) correct it and then sue him to recover the money from him after you've paid it out.

Customer:

I cant correct it I have no money to do that

Customer:

no, he has contravend it by not dealing with it immediately, as a result there is now more damage to the flat - he, the underwriter and the adjustor are all colluding with each other

tdlawyer :

OKay, then the first option seems the better one.

tdlawyer :

Well, none of them will help him if the lease clearly requires him to put it right. It's a simple breach of contract/lease issue.

Customer:

well I shouldnt have to sue anyone to do what he should be doing under the buildings insurance

Customer:

this should be surely a matter of process

tdlawyer :

I agree, but if he doesn't do it, what can you do?

tdlawyer :

Only the courts can really force people to honour their agreements.

tdlawyer :

How many flats/apartments are there in your complex?

Customer:

its not that the insurance people are stopping the work from being done but he is prolonging it and is looking for the chepaest option and, if we had used the guy he wanted to he would be done for negligence

Customer:

its two flats converted and I am on the groundfloor

Customer:

what about the leaseholder-can he be sued for loss of goods and damage to my proeprty

tdlawyer :

Ah okay.

tdlawyer :

I cant see why he would care really if the insurance agree to pay!

tdlawyer :

The person that caused the flood could be sued for the damage to your items etc.

Customer:

I think the issue really is he hasnt insured either of these flats sufficiently and therefore is not only cutting costs but, failing to do the work within 4 weeks which is on the leasehold would be breaking the contract after all?

tdlawyer :

Okay. If he is required to repair within 4 weeks, then he must obviously do that, and if he fails, you have the options I mentioned.

Customer:

also can I just ask - if I sued the guy upstairs would that come off his insurance?

tdlawyer :

Yes, it would. If you sued the guy upstairs, and lets say he paid £1,000, then the landlord would have to pay £1,000 less to repair things because £1,000 worth of the rectification works would have been done.

Customer:

so, should I be going to see a lawyer who can write a letter of negotiation asking the freeholder what is he intending to do about the break of contract and the loss of damage to my furntiure as a result of having to wait for repairs and non earlyintervention in this case?

Customer:

would that sound about right?

tdlawyer :

Yes, I would agree with that.

tdlawyer :

And if you needed to sue, the solicitor is obviously the right person to threaten that, which itself, should kickstart the landlord into action!

Customer:

and, how would I go about dealing with this in a small claims court if I am looking at less than £10.000 what is the procedure please

Customer:

yes I thought so

tdlawyer :

You would go to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk and issue the claim.

tdlawyer :

It's really easy to do.

Customer:

ok thanx

tdlawyer :

You're welcome.

Customer:

is there anything else you would say on this subject - what are the chances if I may just get a lawyers letter sent out

tdlawyer :

To be fair, I expect your chances are pretty good if as you say, the lease is very clear it has to be done within 4 weeks.

Customer:

to the guy - I dont want to sustain huge costs coz I dont have it but one letter from a lawyer I thought might get the guy offf his a

tdlawyer :

If he has failed, and this is pointed out with lawyers on board, it sounds like the claim should be easy?!

tdlawyer :

Yes, I can see the merit in doing that!

Customer:

ok Tony - thats fair enough - I have read through the leasehold agreement - written in feudal english, enslaving us still so we cant understand it half the time - I just need to get somemone to translate it

Customer:

ok thanx for the help

tdlawyer :

:) I know what you mean, they can be a bit challenging!

tdlawyer :

Do you need me to answer anything more tonight?

Customer:

no its ok now I got the jist of it and that website is helpful for me small claims + pursuing the lawyer road.......thats it. Cathi

tdlawyer :

Thanks Cathi. Have a good evening.

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