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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am the owner and landlord of a leasehold ground floor flat

Resolved Question:

I am the owner and landlord of a leasehold ground floor flat in a converted house. The upstairs flat is owned by the freeholder. Our flat suffered sever water damage due to a leak from the upstairs flat resulting in the need to remove a ceiling. The freeholder intends to reimburse the cost of the ceiling removal and replacement.

Because of what happened I negotiated a reduced rent with my tenants for as long as they suffered problems associated with the leak. This included dog urine dripping into the kitchen from the flat upstairs.

I believe the freeholder should also be responsible for meeting the losses I have suffered. Would I have a strong case in the County Court?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello, thank you for your question. My name is Tony, I can help answer this for you.

Was the freeholder responsible for the leak and the damage?

Tony
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Tony


My first contact was with the tenant of the upstairs flat who asked me to deal with his landlord (the freeholder). The freeholder has made a claim on his insurance and, it appears, successfully. The freeholder will not talk to me and has delegated all communications through a property management company. So it is not obvious to me just who is 'responsible' but by his actions it appears the freeholder has accepted responsibility.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Tony


 


I did reply, but my reply seems to have disappeared! I'll try again . . .


 


The tenants said I needed to deal with the freeholder (a friend of theirs). The freeholder has 'accepted responsibility' by making insurance claims and delegating communication with me through a property management company. I have just received from the freeholder reimbursement of costs I have incurred to date.


 


Some other things have gone on that have made it impossible to get clearance to make repairs. eg. a second leak, dog pee dripping onto the kitchen from upstairs, and his property management company requesting that I do not make repairs until they had finalised matters with their insurance. They had one claim turned down but appear to have been successful with a claim on a different policy. The delay has increased my loss of rent.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Lack of response within reasonable timeframe
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
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 as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

I see you have relisted this - do you still need help?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, please. I haven't heard from the previous solicitor since he asked me for information 2 days ago.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The system appears to say that you are waiting for me, but this isn't the case. BTW I am having lots of logging in problems, password XXXXX recognised, email to facilitate new password XXXXX arriving, payment taken twice etc. (sigh)

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Are you insured against these type of losses at all?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, I contribute to buildings insurance controlled by the freeholder.


My question is not really related to what is insured and what the insurance company will pay out, but if I have can take action against the freeholder or the upstairs tenant in the county court for loss of rental income which results directly from the damage caused by the leak for which they have tacitly admitted responsibility.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Yes you can. If the freeholder was negligent (because they own upstairs) then you can take action. They are liable for any losses caused by them because of leaks etc.

You need to write and set out your losses and request a refund 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.

If they do not refund 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.

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.

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.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That's perfect. Thank you.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.
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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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