Q&A: Who is responsible for my buildings gutter?

Q: “I rent a ground floor flat, and there’s another flat above mine. The gutter leaks very badly and when it rains, the water from the gutter falls outside my front door. In heavy rain the water actually splashes under the door and into the hall. My landlady says it’s not her responsibility to repair […]

Q: “I rent a ground floor flat, and there’s another flat above mine. The gutter leaks very badly and when it rains, the water from the gutter falls outside my front door. In heavy rain the water actually splashes under the door and into the hall. My landlady says it’s not her responsibility to repair the gutter and the property above mine is unoccupied. How can I find out who owns that property, and is it their sole responsibility to have the gutter repaired just because their property is the one with the roof?”
Elaine, Grantham

A: “An interesting question and I assume the flat is in a building with only the two flats from the description. In order to find out who owns any property you can do a Land Registry search online which would cost £4. This would tell you who owns the property and their address at the time of registration of the property.

house-guttering“In terms of responsibilities, this will depend entirely on what your lease says. Usually it would be for the service charge to cover exterior repairs and recharge to all parties. However if there are only two flats in one building then it would be rare to have a service charge or managing agent, so the starting point would be checking your lease for the clauses as this will tell you what should happen. I wish you well in sorting this problem out and hope it is resolved soon.”

Roger Southam

Answered by Roger Southam, chairman of residential development management company Chainbow.

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