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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9325
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I am a Landlord with a Letting Agent managing the property

Resolved Question:

Hello - I am a Landlord with a Letting Agent managing the property which currently has a family renting it. The tenant is concerned about damp coming through the wall. The house is mid terraced and set back and lower than the previous house. The area with the damp is at ground level at the back where the party wall becomes external and the adjacent ground level next door is much higher but also above the legal height of two bricks below the Damp Proof Course. There is no drainage in this area and the Landlord for this property next door refuses to pay for any work to be carried out, but has said we can do it at our own cost. Question:- Do we have to spend money and not be reimbursed before we can make a Claim or can the Landlord be made to carry out the work?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
How much will it cost to remedy? Is it caused by some failing on the part of the other landlord?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
At a guess between £100 to £200 at the most. The properties have been as they are for some time, but with the wetter weather it probably made it worse. The problem is the Landlord not wishing to take any responsibility for the required work.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello - what happens now?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
If the damage/damp is caused by either actions of the adjoining landlord or lack of action/repair by the adjoining landlord, then the adjoining landlord is responsible for the cost of fixing it. If however that landlord will not do the work you have no alternative but to take him to court. This is where the situation moves away from legal liability and into practical application because, for the sake of £200 it is probably not worth taking the landlord to court firstly because the Court fee alone is going to be about £50 but secondly because it is unlikely that this would get to court within a 12 month period. Within that 12 month period the tenant could well bring action against you for lack of repair.I accept that it is not your lack of repair, it is the adjoining landlord you are allowing it to happen by not doing anything about it.It’s up to you therefore whether you take the adjoining landlord to court to make him do the repair or you bite the bullet and get it done quickly yourself.What you can do is do the repair, keep your tenant happy, and then sue the landlord for the repair cost provided you can prove that his action or lack of action has caused the problem.Can I clarify anything specific for you?Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.Best wishesFES
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you and understand - but I was wary of doing work on someone else's property, even with their agreement. Is it safe legally to do so?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry - but why does it take so long for a reply?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.
There is always a risk that they will allege that you have been negligent in doing the work although they are going to have to prove that you were. There would be less risk if you used a professional contractorWe all have clients and other users to deal with and go off-line from time to time which is why you may sometimes get answers in minutes and other times longerWe all lawyers in the UK and we have not only our own offices to deal with but also the users on here. That’s why the sometimes
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is ridiculous - I have been sitting in front of this computer for 45 minutes!!! A total waste of 40 mins!!
Thank you. Goodbye.

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