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Ask Alex J. Your Own Question
Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3652
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I own a freehold flat in a converted house and am a director

Customer Question

I own a freehold flat in a converted house and am a director of the management company owning the freehold for the house. The middle flat has water damage to the ceiling obviously coming from the top flat. The top flat is rented out to tenants. The owner of the top flat has been unresponsive and unhelpful and said we would have to liaise directly with his tenants. He took no responsibility for the situation. The tenants have been obstructive to investigating the situation.
In this situation, what right of access does the management company have to the flat from which water is coming? Can we force access to allow our plumber to investigate the situation?
Thanks, William
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is AJ and I will assist you.

Firstly the owner of the flat is responsible for the damage caused by this leak. He is further responsible for ignoring and continuing to allow it to happen.

Secondly the middle do have an obligation to try and mitigate the damage.

Any right of emergency access will be with the landlord and will be contained in the main lease. If it is not actually an emergency then generally it will say reasonable access will be given on notice.

Have the tenants been given written notice that access is required and have they refused? Have you checked the lease to see the rights of access?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi AJ,


 


The tenants have been told by the middle flat that the problem needs to be investigated and they refused to cooperate. They were not given any direct notice by their landlord who owns the flat.


However, since the owner/ landlord told the middle flat to liaise directly with the tenants and refused to get involved himself, I suppose we could infer that he has 'deputised' the right to issue written notice to the 'management company'?


 


Kind regards,


 


Will

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Presumably the top floor flat owner has an Assured Short hold Tenancy with the tenants.

You need to firmly tell the flat owner of that flat that while you are happy to arrange the repairs he has to arrange access. If that means contacting the tenants and arranging with them a suitable time then this is what he must do. If he wont co operate then you have to put him on notice that you will hold him accountable for any additional costs that this delay causes.

Kind regards

AJ