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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My studio apartment on the 4th floor of a gated development

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My studio apartment on the 4th floor of a gated development has been flooded by the apartment above. The owner who was very sorry and friendly at first said that a pipe had split and since both apartments are second homes and empty a lot of the time the actual time and date of the flood was not known and the damage to my apartment was considerable but mainly to wooden floor and walls including boiler cupboards and electrics.
The Insurance which we all pay through Maintenance fees, unknown to me until now, has an excess of £5,000 i.e. they do not insure against leakage! The owner of the above apartment has a private insurance Company who tell me that the owner is not responsible as the pipe is part of buildings and I must claim through the Maintenance insurance which I clearly cannot do as the amount of damage does not reach the sum of £5,000. Is the owner of the above flat responsible and liable and if so where do I go from here?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
You need to write to both the owner above and the freeholder (management co) and set out your losses and request a refund within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not refund you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial. You should add them BOTH as Defendants, so the Judge can decide who to blame!
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You mention that I should submit a claim to the owner above but also the freeholder (management co.). These are two different sets of people and if you mean the I should contact Mainstay, the management company within 14 days, how will this work if the insurance operated through them stipulates an excess of £5000 which is more than the sum of the repairs (some in estimates only).

Does that help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


What else is it you would like to know?
I can certainly try and clarify anything for you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

You do not answer the question of the excess of £5000 which is operated by the only insurance cover that I have. What is the point of writing to Mainstay the management company when I know what their answer will be?

It seems to me that the only option I have is to write to the owner of the above apartment as you suggest. If I go through the Courts what will this cost and what are the chances of receiving the cost of my repairs by this method. Also this event happened in the city of Birmingham - is the procedure the same as in the Surrey area. The other complication is that the apartments of the above owner will not be permanently occupied and I do not have a permanent address for the owner - i.e. the 14 days grace may not be applicable.

It will be a small claim, therefore the costs are limited. In any event you could be entitled to fee remission so may not have to pay.
If the judge finds for you then they will be ordered to pay for the repairs etc, you can have this as part of your claim. The procedure above is the same nationwide. You can give 7 days notice if you are concerned.
Does that clarify?
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?
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