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 LondonlawyerJ Your Own Question
LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 803
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
76316425
Type Your Law Question Here...
LondonlawyerJ is online now

, My son has a ground floor flat in Clapham. The flat

Resolved Question:

Hi,
My son has a ground floor flat in Clapham. The flat above was renovated which caused considerable water damage to the flat below. This was sorted out by the Party Wall Surveyor in a Full & Final Settlement and my son received a payment for damage done. The flat above was subsequently sold; this was all nearly 2 years ago.
Recently my son has had further water damage to his ceilings which he has investigated as the new owner above, who is also the Freeholder, does not see it as any of his business. The water is coming from a bathroom pipe above my son's ceiling; the bathroom being the one to the upstairs flat. It is not the same pipes as involved in the Full & Final Settlement above.
The new owner of the flat states that none of this new damage is his fault or his concern (he is a New Zealander). He feels that the Full & Final above dealt with the matter and refuses to listen to any suggestions that the water is coming from his property, & therefore he is responsible, is a totally new incident, or that perhaps as Freeholder he should be responsible/concerned.
We suspect he expected his new/renovated flat to come with some sort of guarantee but fails to understand that this is nothing to do with my son. Needless to say I think all the pipework under the upstairs flat "should" have been renewed in the renovation, but it wasn't.
Your thoughts please?!
John.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 2 years ago.
LondonlawyerJ :

Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

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.

LondonlawyerJ :

You need to find out exactly what the problem is if possible and also check your lease.

LondonlawyerJ :

It is very likely that your neighbour is responsible. Ho wmuch damage has been caused?

Customer:

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".

Customer:

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

Customer:

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)?

Customer:

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.

Customer:

comments?

Customer:

John.

LondonlawyerJ :

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.

Customer: Many thanks. That will do fine. John.
LondonlawyerJ and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Law Questions