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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11427
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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We own the middle floor of a house in Edinburgh, which has

Resolved Question:

We own the middle floor of a house in Edinburgh, which has been converted into flats. There has been an extensive outbreak of ‘True’ Dry Rot affecting the lounge in the flat above, the lounge in the flat below, our lounge and spare room and the communal entrance. There are three flats in the block, all of a similar size.
The dry rot outbreak appears to be the result of a combination of faulty roof covering and damaged drain pipes (all of these are described as communal in our deeds). Our buildings and contents insurance do not cover dry rot.
We have obtained a number of quotes for both fixing the roof and treating the dry rot. While everyone is in agreement about splitting the cost for roof repairs evenly, the treatment of the dry rot is less clear.
We see fixing the dry rot and making it habitable again can be split into four parts:
1) Cost of getting to the problem (removing floor boards /plaster work)
2) Cost of treating the dry rot (removing / replacing the joists, lintels and affected areas between the floors)
3) Cost of putting the floor boards back / plasterwork
4) Cost of painting / decoration afterwards
Speaking to different people, it seems that the costs of 1), 2) and 3) above would normally be split equally between the flats, with 4) being paid by each individual flat.
Is the damage throughout the building seen as a shared liability, as the source was a communal drain pipe and roof? We have heard that when the council issues statutory notices for these type of issue, then the costs tend to be divided evenly.
Thank you in advance for your help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
Subject to anything the title deeds say, you are largely correct. Lintels and joists are deemed to be common. Floor boards and plaster walls are arguable depending on the nature of the construction but typically would be deemed to be common in this type of work. Decoration would be on a flat by flat basis.
Happy to discuss further.
I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your quick reply.

Can you point us in the direction of the relevant parts of any applicable laws (Common law / Tenement Act?) that would support this advice please?

Thanks again.

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
The title deeds and if the title deeds are silent the common law and Tenements (Scotland) Act 2004.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,

I've tried reading the Tenements Act before but it's tricky for a novice! Can you point me to the relevant section(s) please?

Thank you,

Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Go to schedule 1 which is the Tenement Management Scheme which applies if the title deeds are silent.
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