Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Umm Any Ideas?

  1. Jun 27, 2005 #1

    *Kia*

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What's the score if your upstairs neighbour has a leak in the kitchen and it damages your property?

    Is it a case of tough luck and sort out the cost yourself?
    Or is it up to the tenant/landlord of the other property to foot the bill?

    let me explain...
    We own our property (freehold) the flat directly above has a private tenant living in it.
    A little while ago we noticed that there was water dripping in from above.
    We duly went and spoke to the tenant to inform him of this little mishap and he said he "would take a look".
    Well, this morning we were pretty much getting rained on in our kitchen.
    I expect the plaster above and below the window to have to be re-placed and I expect the ceiling will need work done to it too.
    Unable to contact the tenant we wrote a letter, asking that action be taken within 24 hours, we also c.c'd the letter to the secretary of the block of flats (every "owner" is a member of the company - hence the freehold on a flat) and he claims it is nothing to do with him and purlet an "internal" matter between us and the tenant.
    If this is the case why are we supposed to pay into a maintenance fund??

    All opinions greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2005 #2

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    My opinion is that you'll probably need another Brit to answer you. That living arrangement isn't used here. About the closest that we have would be a condominium complex, but even that doesn't appear to equate. I suppose if all else fails you can sue the neighbour for damages. Make sure to document everything with photos and copies of all correspondence.
     
  4. Jun 27, 2005 #3

    matthyaouw

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    A few years back, there was a leak next door in the adjoining property (privately rented), and this house suffered some damage because of it. The repair cost had to come out of my parent's insurance, rather than the landlord who owned the property where the leak originated.
     
  5. Jun 27, 2005 #4
    I'd see a solicitor myself. Or failing that browse around the net for advice, I'm sure there's some online (uk) lawyers and laywer forums out there somewhere, to tell you what your rights are.

    I believe tenants have a duties document, but in any case this must be breaching health and safety laws in some way.
     
  6. Jun 27, 2005 #5

    *Kia*

    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    think appartment block.
    we live ground floor and own the appartment.
    Some people own more than one appartment and then sub let them, as is the case with the above occupant.

    thanks guys we're off to see citizens advice on Friday - hoping I still have a ceiling by then :bugeye:
     
  7. Jun 27, 2005 #6

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Okay. I'm not familiar with the concept of privately-owned apartments, other than seeing references to them on Yank TV once in a while. I don't think it's done in Canada.
     
  8. Jun 27, 2005 #7

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well, here in the US, the owner of the apartment above you would be legally responsible, if the problem were in his "space". You have no idea what is causing the problem though? If it's a leaking pipe, that could get sticky, is the pipe in their floor (their issue) or in your ceiling (your issue). Or is the tenant being careless and overflowing water?
     
  9. Jun 27, 2005 #8

    Moonbear

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    As Danger said, I think you'll have to get advice from a fellow Brit. In the US, like Canada, we only rent apartments, we don't own them, and no telling if the laws are even close to similar in the different countries. All I could tell you is that in the US, the landlord would be responsible to repair the damage to your apartment, but if it was caused because of something the upstairs tenant did (like overflowing a tub) or could have prevented with a call about a problem sooner (knew the sink was leaking but didn't call to have anything done about it) rather than something that's a general building problem (like a suddenly burst pipe), the landlord could sue the upstairs tenant for the cost of damages.

    Your situation sounds more like when we own condominiums, where every owner is responsible for stuff inside the condo, and the manager is responsible for everything outside the condo (exterior of the building, common spaces, grounds). In that case, the manager has nothing to do with the problem, but if the damage was caused by negligence of the person above you, then you could sue them for repairing the damage (in the US courts, you have to do your best to keep the damage minimized though, so you'd have to pay from your own pocket at first to repair quickly and sue for the repair cost rather than wait for the lawsuit to progress and then expect to be paid for further spread of the damage or mold that happened because it wasn't fixed promptly). But, if it was a common pipe in the walls and nothing belonging specifically to one or the other of you, you may be stuck paying for the damage on your side.

    You'll have to find out if any of those laws apply for you though.
     
  10. Jun 27, 2005 #9

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    So who's responsible for the foundation, roof, yard, etc.? Is that what the fund is for? :confused:

    And don't try to tell me that the top people own the roof and the bottom people own the foundation, because then the ones in the middle are getting a free ride. :tongue:
     
  11. Jun 27, 2005 #10

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    There are hybrid buildings in the US though. I live in one (my roommate owns our unit, so its a condo and the people around us all rent, so they're apartments).

    A friend of mine is in precisely the same situation: an overflowing tub ruined the ceiling above her kitchen. She owns, the people above her rent. The landlord is technically responsible, though I'm not exactly sure how it was handled in her case (it was amicable, regardless).
     
  12. Jun 28, 2005 #11

    *Kia*

    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    hahahaha I like that.
    Although supposedly we are responsible for tha maintenance of the interior ground floor hallway (when all 3 occupiers use it)

    No, I would have expected the fund to be for the foundation roof, etc but in recent years we have had to contribute (all 15 occupants) over 30K to replace a roof that was still within a 10year guarantee :confused: and a further 30K to remove the tarmacked yard and replaced it with gravel :confused:
     
  13. Jun 28, 2005 #12

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    That certainly doesn't sound right. If you do retain a solicitor in the matter, you might want to have him take a look at that situation while you're about it.

    By the bye... over here a tarmacked yard is called a parking lot. :tongue:
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Umm Any Ideas?
  1. Umm - wow. (Replies: 9)

  2. Any idea what this is? (Replies: 10)

  3. Any Ideas ? (Replies: 8)

  4. Any ideas? (Replies: 25)

Loading...