How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

Hi. About 6months ago my bathroom was flooded by my neighbours

Resolved Question:

Hi. About 6months ago my bathroom was flooded by my neighbours upstairs and nothing has been done. I told them on day 1 that it leaks and they got back the bathroom fitter who installed their new shower to fix it. He did this but mine and my neighbours ceilings where damaged. 2 months on and he returns to repair the ceiling of my neighbour next door but has not fixed mine and I cannot get hold of the contractor. The works where done through a contractor who the council had organised and payed but the tenant above signed the contract for the works. My question is who is liable for my ceiling if the contractor has done a runner? I asked the council and they say because the contract was signed by the above tenant it's their insurance's responsibility but I'm not sure that is correct.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : 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, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Do you rent off the council please?
Customer: Hi alex, No we all own our own flats but the free holder is tandridge council. And the shower that the neighbours had installed was done through their social worker. The lady upstairs had a spinal injury and has a key worker who explained that the council will pay for this work to be done.
Alex Watts :

Do you have contents insurance at all?

Customer: Yeah we do but my premium will go up and I don't see why I should pay extra for damage that is the cause of someone's incompetence.
Alex Watts : Do you know the cost of fixing please?
Customer: Been quoted £300 for the plastering
Customer: £150 for the painting and £150 for an electrician to change and inspect the cables
Alex Watts :

That is good which means it is a small claim.

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment 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. Do this to both the Council and the upstairs tenant.

Alex Watts :

If they do not pay 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.

Alex Watts :

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. You need to issue with the Council being Defendant 1 and the person who owns the flat being Defendant 2

Alex Watts :

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.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: I sent a message to the council about this and they have said its not their fault due to an instruction signed by the owners upstairs. They are claiming they have had no involvement with the contractor, however when I asked upstairs they said they had to get 3 quotes and they had to choose the lowest one which the council have paid for. I just want to know if the owners or the council are liable for the repairs.
Alex Watts :

That is why you need to sue both the Council and the owners. The court can decide.

Alex Watts :

It does not cost you any extra

Alex Watts :

The Landlord will be responsible for the building - so Council

Alex Watts :

But also the flat owner would be liable in negligence.

Alex Watts :

That is why you need to sue both.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else?

Customer: Okay no that's great thanks.
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you