Q: “I live in a block of flats and the person living above me recently had a leak beneath their bathroom, which caused damage to the ceiling of my own bathroom. Who is responsible for covering the cost of this damage?”
A: “You will need to gauge whether the pipe that caused the leak serviced just the apartment above or if the pipe was communal. The plumber who fixed the leak should be able to clarify this for you. If the pipe was communal then it is a ‘communal parts’ issue and should be covered by the building’s insurance, meaning your managing agent can process an insurance claim and oversee the repairs.
“If the cost of repairs is less than the insurance excess, then it may be worthwhile to pay for the repairs through money in the service charge fund. If the leaky pipe only serviced the apartment above then the owner of this apartment is responsible for the plumbing repairs and repairs to your apartment. Either way it would be for the service charge or the owner of the flat above to recompense you for the damage you have suffered.”
Roger SouthamAnswered by Roger Southam, chairman of residential development management company Chainbow.