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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of advising on property issues.
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A leak in my flat (potentially caused by some work that was

Resolved Question:

A leak in my flat (potentially caused by some work that was being done to renovate a bathroom) caused damage to downstairs flat. Should the neighbour claim on her insurance policy or what should the approach be? Currently she believes I am liable to claim on my policy.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name isXXXXX am able to help with this.

Customer:

Hi

tdlawyer :

If water has escaped from your flat and caused damage to the neighbour, then technically, you would be liable for it. It's right that people often take out insurance to cover this type of thing.

tdlawyer :

However, even if the insurance company paid, then they would have the right to pursue you in the name of the insured neighbour.

tdlawyer :

All roads unfortunately lead back to you. This is why some people decide to take out insurance in your own name to guard against this type of thing.

Customer:

Flat is rented, and I didn't have contents insurance at this point (because flat was being improved prior to renting)

Customer:

Plus I don't think there was any negligence on my side, leak certainly came from my flat, but not through any negligence.

Customer:

Does that change anything?

tdlawyer :

No, it won't change anything. There is a rule in the case of Rylands -v- Fletcher, which basically says that things which escape from your land you would be liable for.

Customer:

It was caused by workmen I had in who were replacing the flooring in the bathroom, would they be partially/at all liable?

tdlawyer :

Yes, they're likely to be liable to you for the damage that they have caused.

tdlawyer :

So if you're liable to others, they should then be liable to you if this was their fault.

tdlawyer :

In other words, it's something of a chain of liability, passing from one person to the other. Ultimately, though, you shouldn't be out of pocket if this was caused by the workmen.

Customer:

What if the carpets are old, and weren't too badly damaged. (Part of me does feel neighbour is making more out of this than strictly needed).

Customer:

Should the claim cover full replacement amount?

tdlawyer :

Also, it's worth checking what insurance the landlord/management company has in place. there might be something which covers this type of thing. It's pretty common to get insurance with the common areas, and sometimes you see it with flats too, so do check.

tdlawyer :

The claim cost is like for like insofar as possible. It's always difficult to do exactly like for like, unless everything damaged is new, and the courts would have to be as fair as possible to get near the true value of the damaged things.

tdlawyer :

You could instruct a loss adjuster to attend at their flat to value the damaged items. This is the type of thing they're very used to doing, usually for insurance companies, but they do private work like this too.

Customer:

Ok, no other options then? Possible pass costs back to workmen, and possibly reduce costs via a loss adjuster. (Which would cost probably the equivalent amount though)

tdlawyer :

Yes, that's right. I can't think of anything else Im afraid without you having insurance.

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