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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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A leak in my flat caused ceiling damage to the bathroom in the flat below. I have been ask

Resolved Question:

A leak in my flat caused ceiling damage to the bathroom in the flat below. I have been asked to cover the rent that the landlord / owner of the flat below failed to receive while the ceiling was being repaired. The landlords incoming tenant refused to move until works completed. Am I legally obliged to pay this. I am happy to pay for the repairs however these will most likely be met from buildings insurance but surely I am not legally obliged to cover loss of rent. I should appreciate your input. Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether you had any form of insurance?

Customer:

Alex,There is buildings insurance and the managing agents recouped the cost of the repairs from the buildings insurance company. I was advised by email that the incident resulted in a loss of rent of 1600 stg and the insurers are refusing to cover this as the flat was not deemed uninhabitable. However, in a previous email received, I was advised that the loss of rent was 550 stg. I am confused as I do not understand why a) I am being quoted two different loss of rent figures and b) can you confirm whether I am legally obliged to pay for loss of rent. Thank you.

Alex Watts :

Indeed. Did the Landlord have Landlord insurance for his flat?

Customer:

No he does not have this insurance based on the answer I received.

Alex Watts :

Ah then that is his own fault.

Alex Watts :

A Landlord would normally take out his own insurance for loss of rent etc.

Alex Watts :

Given the fact that the flat was habitable but the Landlord for whatever reason did not want to have a tenant, then no you are not liable.

Alex Watts :

A Landlord must mitigate their loss

Alex Watts :

They have not

Alex Watts :

The flat was habitable.

Alex Watts :

The Landlord could have had insurance

Alex Watts :

Therefore the Landlord has failed to take all reasonable steps to mitigate any loss

Alex Watts :

Therefore based on this then you are not liable.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

The landlord maintains that the tenant elected not to move in whilst the ceiling was being repaired and that because of this I am liable to pay for missed rent. I understand that from the time the leak was advised to me to the time the ceiling was repaired 5-7 days went by. I will need to confirm this timing. If the timing is longer, will this change my liability position.

Alex Watts :

No you are not liable.

Alex Watts :

That is a matter between the tenant and Landlord

Alex Watts :

Not your fault.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

If I have a follow up query in relation to this matter can I still revert for further information. Thank you.

Alex Watts :

Sure.

Alex Watts :

The question does not close

Customer:

Alex, I apologise for reverting to seek absolute confirmation however I now have accurate timelines regarding this issue of the leak between my flat (upstairs) and the flat below.

Customer:

1. Tenant from flat below called to my flat and spoke with my tenant in early September advising that there appeared to be a leak in his flat and he wanted to check my flat for evidence of origination of the leak. My tenant allowed him access and neither found any evidence of leak.

Alex Watts :

ok

Customer:

2. 2-3 weeks later, the landlord and Maintenance Man called to the flat, again to look for signs of a leak. My tenant allowed them access and neither suggested to him that he should have reported a leak earlier etc etc. I received a call from the Managing Agents for the building of water leaking from my flat into flat below and confirming that cost of repair to flat below would be met from Buildings Insurance. I was asked to source a plumber to repair the leak in my flat which I did. The plumber was brought in by the Agents managing the flat for me and it took two separate visits to repair it over a 5 day period. The situation was resolved.

Alex Watts :

Ok

Customer:

3. I was advised in writing in Nov that claim was submitted for cost of repair and missed rent in respect of flat below. Insurers cover the cost of repair but on the basis that the flat was not deemed inhabitable they refused to pay the lost rent.

Alex Watts :

ok

Customer:

4. The initial quote for lost rent in November was 600 stg and then in Feb I was advised that the lost rent was 1500 stg.

Customer:

I need to be absolutely sure I am not liable to cover this lost rent. I am being asked to pay by the landlord from the flat below

Alex Watts :

You are NOT liable.

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

Please confirm that I have no obligation to pay.

Alex Watts :

No obligation

Alex Watts :

Does that clarify?

Customer:

On what grounds am I not liable please?

Alex Watts :

1. Its not your fault.

Alex Watts :

2. The Landlord tried to fix

Alex Watts :

3. The tenant below should have insurance

Customer:

Thank you.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Alex Watts :

If not can I ask you to rate my answer before you go today, the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

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