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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 3671
Experience:  Two years conveyancing experience.
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Hi, There is a problem with a rising main leaking (lead pipe)

Customer Question

Hi,
There is a problem with a rising main leaking (lead pipe) in the flat below one we own. To fix it, we have been advised that the plumber would need to take up our floorboards as it rises into our flat (and the leak may be in out flat also). The problem is that to do this will destroy our floor(laminate). The responsibilty for the main is joint liabilty (equal shares) in the lease (leasehold property). Is the owner of the flat belwo liable to contribute to the cost of replacing our floor to carry out the repair or not?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property 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.

If the cost of fixing the main and making good any damage is to borne equally then this would include the cost of repairing any damage done to your laminate flooring as accessing the main has to be included as part of repairing it.

Do you have the wording available that states it is a joint liability?

Kind regards

AJ

P.S I have to leave my computer briefly but will be back shortly.

I look forward to hearing from you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

At all time during the said term to pay and contribute one moiety of the expense of repairing maintianing and rebuilding the roof foundations and main strucuture of the building of which the demised premises form part and (b) a rateable and due proportion of the expenses of making repairing


maintaining supporting rebuilding and cleansing all ways passageways pathways sewers drains pipes watercourses water pipes cisterns gutters party walls party structures fences easements and appurtenances belonging to or used or capable of being used by the Lessee in common with the Lessor or the tenants or occupiers of the premises near to or adjoining the demised premises or of which the demised premises form such proportion in the case of difference to be settled by the surveyor for the time being of the Lessor whose decision shall be binding'


so it's 'a rateable and due proportion of the expenses re the pipes (we have an easement over the pipes).


what is a rateable and due proportion?


thanks,


rebecca

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

Thank you.

The due proportion would be the proportion for each flat. This may be calculated as an equal sum for each flat or relative to the size of your flat, for example you pay £10 for every square foot you own.

If they have damage your property to repair a common, making good that damage undoubtedly falls within the repair. The repair bill should cover the repair to the pipe and making good the damage. If the neighbours have indicated that they wont pay to make good the flooring after the repair you could go ahead with the repairs and then you would have to sue them to recover the money.

The alternative although I am not inclined to recommend this, is that if they have confirmed in writing that they wont pay, refuse to give them access unless they pay the money up front. The only problem for this is it might perpetuate the damage in their flat which they will try and blame on you.

I am not sure what rateable means in this context. Rateable is normally a reference to the rateable value of your property as determined by the valuation office, this more applies to commercial property.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ