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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I own a leasehold flat which is let to tenants. My flat had

Resolved Question:

I own a leasehold flat which is let to tenants. My flat had a leak (fault with the hot water cylinder which was rectified immediately) which caused some damage to the flat below to the hallway floor, and water marks to the bathroom ceiling and top of the walls around the hallway by the coving. The bathroom fan is now also not working so an electrician is also needed.

I advised the owner of the flat to put this as an insurance claim through the freeholder's policy via the management company as he wanted me to pay for everything. I told him this would be covered by the building's policy. There is a £500 excess on the policy however so I have now advised him that I would prefer to get my own quotes to see if I can get repairs done under £500 as he is expecting me to pay for everything.

I have since been to see his flat which is also let out to tenants. The condition of the paintwork in the hallway is terrible as it has not been painted for years (over 10 years which the tenants have verified). I am happy to pay for new laminate flooring (in the hallway section only) but I feel the cost of repainting the hallway should be shared as the water stains are only on the ceiling and at the top of the walls adjoining the coving. If the whole hallway is painted, he is effectively getting this area as a free makeover.

I have now received a message from him saying he is appointing his own builders to do redecoration work and will send the entire bill to me.

I feel this is totally unfair.

1. What rights do I have to say that I will only pay for half of the painting cost due to the fact that the other parts of the walls, skirting etc are not damaged and are in poor repair due to his own neglect?
2. If he appoints his own builders, surely he would be liable for the invoice himself and would have to ask if I will pay some of the bill?
3. He cannot get the invoice sent to me can he?
4. Would I be better off to just instruct a flooring contractor to replace the floor and leave the painting for him to appoint his builder so I don't get made responsible for the whole bill and will only have to pay him what I think is approriate?
5. What is to stop him from having additional work done and say it was part of the damage when it wasn't?

Please advise how I should proceed with this matter so I am protected and not out of pocket.

Should I leave it for him to appoint all contractors so the bill cannot be put in my name?

What rights do I have and what rights does he have?

Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** 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, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

Have you gotten your own quotes yet please?

Customer:

I am in the process of doing so. The other party are now threatening to take legal action if I don't get everything done in 2 weeks. Again, what are my options here?

Customer:

If they refuse to pay half, then am I within my legal rights to just touch up the parts that have been water damaged and not the whole walls and skirting etc which are unaffected?

Alex Watts :

You don't need to replace new for old

Alex Watts :

This is because lets assume say a carpet has a 10 year life span and they have had it for 9 years, you would only be liable for 1 year so 10%

Alex Watts :

They are in no position to make demands in 2 weeks.

Alex Watts :

If the property couldn't be lived in that would be a different matter

Alex Watts :

But they have a duty to mitigate loss, ie minimise

Alex Watts :

You are more than entitled to get a number of quotes and only offer a % of the work to be done

Alex Watts :

Even then if it is cheaper to repair than replace, they must do this

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please

Customer:

Hi Alex

Customer:

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Your answer was helpful. So if the other party refuse to pay any costs, for the painting, am I within my rights to say that I will only instruct the painter to paint the areas that were water stained and leave the other parts of the hallway? So in effect, it would be touching up just the ceiling and top of the walls that meet the coving? That would leave the hallway looking odd but by doing so I have fulfilled my part, is that correct? So if they want the whole hallway to be painted, that is for them to instruct their own painter at their own expense?

Alex Watts : Yes indeed.
Alex Watts : They need to mitigate any loss
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Customer:

Ok, that's great, thanks for your help.

Customer:

If I need any further help, I will raise as a new question and come back to you.

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