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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 25946
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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The water main for 7 other flats and a house goes through my

Resolved Question:

The water main for 7 other flats and a house goes through my flat. Please can you tell me:-
What are my legal rights and responsibilities?
Submitted: 28 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 28 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I confirm that when you refer to the water main, you refer to the supply pipe for the building and not the water mains that supplies the entire street and area with water which would normally be laid either in your street or main nearby street? A water main is a huge pipe and it would be unusual for it to be laid under a building.

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
the supply (20mm iron pipe I believe) is for the 8 flats and a house in the grounds.
Expert:  Joshua replied 28 days ago.

Thank you - this is as I thought. The position will be determined by your lease but it would be very unusual - and your solicitor should have pointed out any deivation from the following position - If the legal position in terms of your responsibilities and obligations was different to the following which would be the position provided for in the overwhelming majority of leases.

A normal residential lease would provide that freeholder landlord is responsible for maintenance of any pipes serving more than one flat and that an individual flat owner would be responsible for any length of pipe solely serving one flat and no other. In other words, Your lease very likely provides that you will be responsible for any length of pipe which connects into the communal pipework and solely serves your flat but Would not have personal responsibility or liability or the communal pipe that serves more than just your flat. The same is true of waste pipes.

If there is a leak it will be necessary to determine where the leak occured as part of the repair so as to correctly apportion liablity in terms of the costs of fixing it. Some landlords maintain Insurance policies that provide for full pipe cover and where this is the case it may be that you would not have to Personally pay For any repairs regardless of the location of a leak But where this is the case, it is likely to be a "perk" rather than a right as your lease very likely provides as above.

In terms of your rights, your lease almost certainly provides you with the right to receive water through the pipes and similarly to discharge wastewater through waste pipes and Will contain similar rights in respect of other condiments such as electricity gas and so on as applicable

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Thank you. The reason for the question is this: A recent leak in my toilet in the feed to the house in the garden necessitated turning off the stop cock just outside the building affecting all 8 flats and the house. One flat owner complained that I should get a stop cock fitted in my flat. Investigation of the internal pipes suggests that the main supply pipe runs right round the flat with various T-offs for appliances etc before continuing to the other flats so cutting off the main internally would have the same effect as externally affecting all 8 flats and the house.The lease is ancient and vague. The leak was in a T-off from the main pipe feeding just my toilet and then continuing to the house in the garden (the section of pipe actually leaking). The question is - Is the repair of the pipe and any consequential damage the responsibility of:-
a) The owner of the house in the gardenb) Execliff Management Committee (of which the 8 flat owners are co-directors and freeholders)c) MeFinally does anyone have legal justification for objecting to me turning off the outside stopcock in case of a leak or repair?
Expert:  Joshua replied 28 days ago.

May I clarify the location of the leak. You mention a leak in your toilet and in the feed to the house. Was the leak in a pipe only serving your property or a pipe serving more than one flat?

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
The pipe serves only the house in the garden
Expert:  Joshua replied 28 days ago.

Thank you. Is the house a freehold house unrelated to your block of flats or is also a leasehold property under the same title as the flats?

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Unrelated freehold
Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Sorry for the delay - yes it is an unrelated freehold.
Expert:  Joshua replied 28 days ago.

My apologies for the delay in reverting to you. If the leak was on the pipe solely serving that property then it is that property owners responsibility to pay for the repair.

The other flat owners do not have an absolute right to supply of water in all circumstances. If a supply has to be turned off in an emergency they have no legal complaint. Of course if it is not an emergency notice should be given where possible but if further stop cocks are required, this will be a matter for either the landlord or each flat owner individually and there is no legal requirement.

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Did you receive my reply or has the system cut us off?
Expert:  Joshua replied 28 days ago.

Hello - I'm really sorry but I didn't. Could I trouble you to repost it. I am very sorry if that causes inconvenience.

Customer: replied 28 days ago.
Sorry, Joshua - repost what exactly - and how asks the geriatric technophobe?
Expert:  Joshua replied 28 days ago.

Sorry you asked if I had received your reply so I assumed you had written something for me to read? Sorry if we are at cross purposes - perhaps you haven't received my answer. I will resend my answer again now in case you haven't seen it. If you have I haven't received any other questions from you since my answer so if you have any further questions please do come back to me. Here's my original answer again...

If the leak was on the pipe solely serving that property then it is that property owners responsibility to pay for the repair.

The other flat owners do not have an absolute right to supply of water in all circumstances. If a supply has to be turned off in an emergency they have no legal complaint. Of course if it is not an emergency notice should be given where possible but if further stop cocks are required, this will be a matter for either the landlord or each flat owner individually and there is no legal requirement.

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Joshua and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 28 days ago.
thank you Joshua - you have been helpfully concise and explicit. I appreciate it. May you be blessed in your business.
Sincerely
Mike Hobart
Expert:  Joshua replied 28 days ago.

I'm glad I was able to assist. Please let me know if I can assist any further. Best wishes