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minkeygirl

Ceiling Collapse...

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I'd be grateful for any advice -

We rent a 2nd floor flat from a Housing Association as private / market rate tenants. The HA also own the freehold to the building, although the flat upstairs is owned privately and rented to students.

We got home today to find our bathroom ceiling in the bath and water streaming through the hole above. I rang the HA and expained the problem (no ceiling, water feature, electric light fitting full of water) and they said it is not their responsibility, but the landlord of the flat above. After a lot of argument they agreed to send an electrician out - he immediately turned off our light circuit saying it was lethal.

Eventually we got hold of the students above, and rang their landlord who agreed to send out a plumber ( tomorrow). The problem seems like a split in the outlet from the shower above - so is caused by the flat above.

What I am concerned about is who pays for / does the repairs - as tenants we only have contents insurance. Once the plumber has fixed the leak, we'll need the ceiling removed, the damage repaired and our broken belongings replaced. Should we ask upstairs landlord to arrange this, or do we arrange it ourselves and try to get the cash back?

I don't know where we stand, and what if anything we can expect from the HA we rent from. Thanks in advance for any advice :-)

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I'd be grateful for any advice -

We rent a 2nd floor flat from a Housing Association as private / market rate tenants. The HA also own the freehold to the building, although the flat upstairs is owned privately and rented to students.

We got home today to find our bathroom ceiling in the bath and water streaming through the hole above. I rang the HA and expained the problem (no ceiling, water feature, electric light fitting full of water) and they said it is not their responsibility, but the landlord of the flat above. After a lot of argument they agreed to send an electrician out - he immediately turned off our light circuit saying it was lethal.

Eventually we got hold of the students above, and rang their landlord who agreed to send out a plumber ( tomorrow). The problem seems like a split in the outlet from the shower above - so is caused by the flat above.

What I am concerned about is who pays for / does the repairs - as tenants we only have contents insurance. Once the plumber has fixed the leak, we'll need the ceiling removed, the damage repaired and our broken belongings replaced. Should we ask upstairs landlord to arrange this, or do we arrange it ourselves and try to get the cash back?

I don't know where we stand, and what if anything we can expect from the HA we rent from. Thanks in advance for any advice :-)

IANAL. Any advice I give is worth what you paid for it, or (most likely) less.

I'd've thought your landlord would be responsible for fixing damage to the flat. They (or their insurers) would have a claim against upstairs for the cost of it, but that's not your concern.

I don't *think* you should try and deal with it yourself unless by agreement with the landlord.

If the flat is not fit to live in (as might well be the case if your electricity and bathroom are off-limits for more than a few hours) then you may also be able to demand your landlord cover the cost of emergency accommodation. But I wouldn't rely on that without taking legal advice.

BTW, a similar thing once happened to me in a guest house, where I was staying to attend a conference. Couldn't contact management in the middle of the night, so ended up calling the fire brigade to deal with the water+electricity hazard. Some of my personal belongings including my passport were damaged.

[edit to add] as for your damaged belongings, ask your own insurance company. You should be able to claim from them, and leave them to deal with the hassle of claiming from upstairs.

Edited by porca misèria

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Many thanks for your help porca miseria,

I had two very difficult conversations last night - one with my landlord and the other with the landlord upstairs - who were both saying that it wasn't their problem. Not what I wanted to hear with water pouring through the ceiling! It's good to hear you confirm my suspicion that our landlord should fix the damage.

Once the plumber has been upstairs to stop the leak I'll be back on the phone to my landlord to request repairs. I just wish the students upstairs would stop using the shower / sink upstairs - despite asking 3 times there is still water pouring our every 30 mins or so...

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How about contacting your letting agent?

Either way, don't pay for anything yourself though as you're just renting, the two landlords and there insurance will have to work things out. If the place is uninhabitable or dangerous, then refuse to pay your rent!

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Your contract is with your landlord. If your flat is rendered uninhabitable (other than through your own negligence), it's the landlord's problem to fix it. If the cause is a third party, then that's an issue between the LL and the third party. But unless I'm missing something, you signed a contract with your LL whereby they provide you with a habitable residence in exchange for your monthly rent. As of the incident, they're not doing that. You don't have any contract with the LL of the flat above, and so if I were you I'd ignore him.

It's the same syndrome whereby if you take a faulty consumer electronics item back to the shop they tell you to go direct to the manufacturer to get it fixed under warranty (i.e. returning it to them at your expense rather than the shop's). Under the Sale of Goods Act they can't fob you off like that - you bought the item from the shop, not the manufacturer, and so if the shop supplied you with defective goods it's the shop's responsibility to rectify that, taking the issue up with the manufacturer themselves if appropriate.

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Thanks for all the replies.

I was getting very concerned last night when both sets of landlords refused to do anything to help. My landlord, being a housing association, has tight rules about what is an emergency repair, and only the electrics qualified (the gallons of water pouring down from above, and the lack of ceiling could wait a few days apparently!?!).

As noone was taking responsibility I was considering caling a plumber and paying myself. Luckily my other half persuaded the landlord of the flat upstairs to drive a 460 mile round trip to fix the leak (though he complained repeatedly about it). Now that the water gas stopped flowing I just need to get our landlord (the HA) to do the repairs.

Again, thanks for the advice.

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Thanks for all the replies.

I was getting very concerned last night when both sets of landlords refused to do anything to help. My landlord, being a housing association, has tight rules about what is an emergency repair, and only the electrics qualified (the gallons of water pouring down from above, and the lack of ceiling could wait a few days apparently!?!).

That sounds better than your first post. The ceiling isn't isn't a top-priority emergency (doesn't put anyone directly in danger or anything like that), and it would be foolish to try and fix it until you have confirmation that the upstairs plumbing problem has been fixed! Just so long as the "few days" don't drag on ...

As noone was taking responsibility I was considering caling a plumber and paying myself. Luckily my other half persuaded the landlord of the flat upstairs to drive a 460 mile round trip to fix the leak (though he complained repeatedly about it). Now that the water gas stopped flowing I just need to get our landlord (the HA) to do the repairs.

What a total ******* (the upstairs landlord)! What's wrong with calling a local plumber? Or asking you to call a plumber and send the bill on to him, if you're willing and better-placed by virtue of being there?

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  • 309 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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