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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30008
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have an issue regarding a dispute between two

Customer Question

Hi I have an issue regarding a dispute between two leaseholders
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: UK- London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Nothing legal
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No thank you!
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
We had a flood a month ago, it was minor, so minor we didnt make any claims on our buildings insurance. The leaseholder below us is demanding money and has just sent an email with false allegations. We would have offered to pay her excess, but she has been racist and uncivilised about the matter. She has been dishonest about the damages as well.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
She came to our door and we exchanged numbers on the day of the flood, as we said we would both go through building's insurance and if our insurance didnt cover these costs we would happily help her. We had a look at our building's insurance agreement and it clearly stipulates we are not liable for damages caused by a flood
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine how frustrating it must be. I will certainly try to clarify the position for you.

  1. May I confirm what the cause of the leak was please?
  2. where you aware of the cause of the leak before the leak or has the leak ever occurred before?
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I have attached the buildings insurance too
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you for your response.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
1. we are unsure, it was coming from the bathroom and it stopped
it could have been the bidet tap
2. no, it happened in the morning and it has never happened. We had family over and we think one of the kids was playing with the tap
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
It was honestly a minor leak and we thought nothing of it. So much so we didn't make a claim.
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
We are leaving the property in 3 weeks as we have sold it and don't want the current buyer to have to deal with this lady
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
The day she came and handed the paper she accused my dad of being aggressive and refused to speak to my mum and I
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I have a feeling she wanted to make an allegation about my dad, hence I told him to not speak with her. I said we would respond to her through email as we did. I sent a word document with both emails and her note she handed to me
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

thank you. On this basis, there is no legal mechanism by which leaseholder can claim any monies from you. The reason for this is there is no contract between you so the claim is based in tort. The law of tort is the same law that underwrites personal injury claims, road accident claims and so on and is relevant where there is no contract between parties but nevertheless there is a need to establish a legal liability.

In order to make a claim under tort, you need to be able to show negligence. Specifically what needs to be shown, is the duty of care is owed to another party which in this case it plainly is as you are both resident in the same building; that the leak was reasonably foreseeable on your part which from what you say it was not because it had not occurred before and the leaseholder have not advised you of the leak previously and finally, the damage was caused which presumably in this case it was.

The lack of foreseeability in respect of the leak on your part means that there is no claim available because the leaseholder will not be able to establish this element of the claim that is needed to be established in order to succeed. Accordingly, whilst you are free of course to offer any gesture of goodwill, in terms of the law, you can deny liability on the above basis. I would add however that if the leak occurs again, if you have not had the same inspected by a plumber for example, it may be possible for the leaseholder to make a claim against you as in those circumstances unlike the previous circumstances, you would have been aware of a particular issue and the leaseholder would be able to say that you did nothing about it and it occurred again as a result

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you so much for this! Out of goodwill we would've paid had she not been racially abusive. She also said we would have to pay her 4 grand if we didn't pay her £150
How would you recommend I respond to her?
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

it is generally sensible to respond to any claim made against you financially though having done so, it is not necessary to respond to further abuse of communication which does not add to the dispute substantively. Indeed, should such communication follow, it may be grounds for a complaint of harassment. If you have not already that applied to deny liability, it would be sensible to do so

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I am so sorry but what do you mean by applied to deny liability.
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

Apologies for the typo - this should read: If you have not already that replied to deny liability, it would be sensible to do so.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you for clarifying. I thought that if you are insured and you are going through insurance you couldn't make a claim of negligence as well. Can you make a claim on your insurance and a claim of negligence?
I thought this was only if your insurance doesn't cover the accident. e.g. if on the building's insurance it didn't cover floods caused by accidents (which it does) Hence we told her we'd pay for her repairs if our insurance doesn't cover leaks and floods. Am I wrong in believing this?
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

You can't claim on insurance and claim against someone else - or more accurately you can but you have to then pay the insurance back if you succeed in the claim.

Expert:  Joshua replied 13 days ago.

I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you Joshua,
I was thinking of responding like this, is this okay?
Dear *****,Thank you for your email.We made a reasonable decision to respond to the letter you handed to us in person on 11/11/2021. This was in regard to monies owed by yourself in an invoice.Following this email you have proceeded to make false allegations in writing, we formally deny liability of these allegations.
There is no reason for us to respond to further abuse of communication that does not add to the dispute substantively.Once again, we are making the reasonable decision to respond to your libellous email out of courtesy.Kind regards,Residence of 161 Michael Cliffe House
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Initially we were going to pay the excess to avoid this hassle, but she has gone about the matter in such an awful way that we now feel doing so would just make us look as though we were at fault and were indeed negligent.
Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.
This seems like a measured response. See no reason why that is not appropriate
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
As we are leaving the property soon we are unsure what to do. I just wanted to know what could she do moving forward if we have denied all her allegations.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Having spoken again on 12 November 2021 to the Insurance Company they have asked for confirmation that the work to install the bidet attachment in your toilet area was done by a fully qualified certified plumber, this is to ensure that no further events of the flooding that happened on 1 August occur again. Kindly confirm.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
In her email she asked us to confirm the work was done by a certified plumber, does she have a right to request this information and would an insurance company actually ask this?
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I have never heard of such a thing
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I therefore had no other option than to contact Islington council myself who indeed confirmed that as we are both Leaseholders the damage was covered by our Building Insurance and directed me to the Insurers.
I'm also confused as to why she is contacting us when the council directed her to Insurers?
She clearly states this in her email herself?
Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.

If the leak reoccurs and causes damage then there may be grounds for claiming negligence - because the argument would be it happened once and then happened again either because you didn't bother to fix it or didn't employ a qualified contractor (i.e. negligence). However providing you have attended to the issue there is no scope for a claim against you or demanding any information though you may choose to share such

Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

I trust the above was of assistance and that you do not have any follow up questions for now. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Expert:  Joshua replied 10 days ago.

Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.