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Matt Jones
Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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Hi there, During the Christmas we had experienced

Resolved Question:

Hi there,

During the Christmas period we had experienced very heavy rainfall which had caused the felt on the roof to fly off causing the rainwater to leak through the ceilings and had damaged most of our belongings, electrics and the walls were left soaked in water. We had contacted the council to inform them of the problem and to get them to provide a temporary fix to prevent any further rainwater from leaking into the premises. However, they had failed to call out a repair man to fix the roof and we had to deal with the downpour for a further 4 days. During this time the whole upper level of the house was flooded with water, walls were soaked and all our belongings were destroyed. My argument is that the council had neglected our concerns and had failed to act in good timing. If they had acted when they were first notified by us then we would have been able to salvage most of our belongings and their would have been a lot less damage to the property.

I am the leaseholder of the flat but the building is owned by the council, so we are obligated to pay a service charge. My issue is that I believe the damage to my premises is partly down to the council for failing to repair the roof in good timing and with the council holding a yearly stock condition survey, surely this should have highlighted the disrepair to the roof which had gone unnoticed.

Nonetheless, the council have written to us and we have been informed that they are not willing to compensate us for any damage to our belongings as they believe this should have been covered by contents insurance. However, we have never had contents insurance as my mother is regularly indoors and we were not in need of it. My question is, have we got a case against them as they are not willing to negotiate any compensation and are not willing to cooperate with us as they are looking to repair the property on their own terms.

I would like to know if we can get them to cover our service charge as it is not reasonable for us to be charged for this cost now that we are staying elsewhere because the flat is not in a habitable state.

My second question is, can we be compensated for the damage caused to our belongings to cover the cost for replacements such as beds, curtains, carpets etc.

Thirdly, my mothers health has adversely deteriorated because of this so can we make a claim against them for damage to health.

The council are unwilling to answer or provide us with information as I can only imagine that they are not willing to say too much to us in fear of being held accountable for the damage.

Can you please let me know what our options are and provide me with any advice or assistance in tackling this problem.

I hope to be hearing from you soon.

Thanks in advance,

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I will continue to wait for an answer.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 2 years ago.


We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.

i will try and help - could you let me have the following information:-

a) What type of tenancy agreement do you have (i.e assured shorthold) and for what length is your tenancy?

b) what specific date did you inform the council of the roof repairs?

c) you say the council undertake a regular condition survey - when was the last the this was done and have you a copy of this report?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi there,

I have a leasehold ownership of the flat which is 125 years.

The leak happened on the night of te 19th December and we informed them immediately that night. And specified that it was an emergency because the top floor was completely flooded.

The council are not willing to provide us with a report but have specified that it was done aug 2012 - November 2013. They haven't provided us with any report or actual dates of inspection.

I hope that helps.
Expert:  Matt Jones replied 2 years ago.

as you have a long leasehold property the reaping obligations of the landlord are not as stringent as those for leases less than 7 years long (which are covered by the various landlord and Tenant Acts)

Essentially the starting point it to look at your lease, and specifically the clauses relating to the landlords obligations to repair, and those relating to what you pay your service charge for and what the landlords have to do with this service charge money.

From there you need to ask the council for copies of the annual maintenance reports (which as they are a council you can get under a Freedom of Information Act request)

You can then establish if they have essentially breached their contract with you, and if you have a claim against them,. from here things can get quiet complex however and so I would recommend getting the information considered by a qualified lawyer who is willing to take the case.

this would be the basis of any claim against landlords. You also need to consider your position in the lease however, as sometimes there are clauses obliging you to insure your contents.

Matt Jones, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience: I am a qualified and practising Solicitor with over 7 years post qualification experience
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