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Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
It sounds very much like the upstairs owner is responsible either due to a defect to his flat or due to defect to the services to the building. The distinction is important as if it is a repair covered by the service charges under your lease then you will have to pay your share of the repairs. Whether it is his fault in nuisance or negligence or a service charge issue will depend on precisely what the defect is and also what your lease says. Im most cases a pipe in a bathroom would not be a service charge issue.
You need to find out exactly what the problem is if possible and also check your lease.
It is very likely that your neighbour is responsible. Ho wmuch damage has been caused?
Hi, Many thanks for this. I do not have an up to date lease with me but I am looking at a previous one for the same flat which says that my son is responsible, as far as his flat is concerned, for, briefly, all plasterwork covering walls & ceilings, and "all conduits which are laid in any part of the said Building and serve exclusively the flat".
If the same conditions apply to the flat above, which I imagine they do, then the upstairs owner is responsible as the leaking pipe goes to one of his bathrooms. I understand your point entirely about the service charge which pays half of the buildings insurance
I understand your point entirely about the service charge on my son's flat, which should pay for half of the buildngs insurance and any other repairs contingency fund that he and the Freeholder might have set up, but am I correct in thinking that even if a Service issue then the Freeholder should take the lead in looking after the Leasehold (within reason)?
You asked how much damage had been caused: luckily not too much but we are mainly after the principle here as the new owner is denying all responsibility thinking that all his pipework has been renewed. My son now realses that it hasn't been renewed and suspects that there may be further problems with leaks just around the corner. Unfortunate, but not my son's fault & he should not suffer for shoddy work to the above flat.
Yes, your understanding is right the freeholder will take the lead in initiating repairs etc under the service charge. It does sound likely that it is your neighbours duty to fix his pipes etc. If only a little damage has been done there is little that you can do through the law. You might think that the best hing is to send a letter to the upstairs neighbour stating: There is a leak into your flat from his, where it is coning from, that you think it is from pipes under his bath room. Refer to the clause you mention above. Tell him some damage has been caused and that you are formally putting him on written notice about the problem and that if (as is likely) the damage worsens you will seek compensation from him for the cost repairs and the unpleasantness caused to your flat and an order requiring him to fix his pipes.