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Mandy2007
09-06-2008, 18:00 PM
My friend owns a flat above a shop. The Shop is also the owner of the whole building. Recently, water leak was found by the shop. The shop owner(also the freeholder of the entire building) requested my friend to check it out. Because there was no water leak found inside of my friend’s flat, and all of the floors inside of the flat has been covered by laminated floors. It is not easy to lift up everything and take a deep look. My friend mentioned that he could not purchase additional building’s insurance just for the flat, because he was told the it should be covered by the building insurance by the freeholder. However, the freeholder would not make a claim for the water leak. And asked my friend to start spend and investigate. My friend was also told there would be no cost be covered on his part for the leak. But if he does nothing, he would be sued for the damages. Does this sound right? BTW, he just let out the flat short term during a temp assignment abroad. The rent was not enough to cover the mortgage, let alone the cost for investigation. There are other flats on the same floor. The shop owner was certain that the water leak came from my friend’s flat based on the location of the leak detected from the ceiling of the shop.

Easy
09-06-2008, 19:14 PM
He would have to prove your friend is negligent to claim damages. In other words if it was an ongoing problem (a leak) that your friend was aware of and had failed to resolve then yes. It is unlikely he could simply on the occasion the bath overflows or the washing machine floods. As to the point that he is certain where the water engress has come from i doubt. The source of water leaks can be very difficult to locate.

Mandy2007
10-06-2008, 09:39 AM
It happened twice in last two months (all within 2-3 days after heavy rains). Does not seem to have anything to do with daily usage of water. There was no leak found inside of the flat neither (excluding all area covered by the laminate floors).
Is there any kind of insurance my friend can buy to cover the risks such as unexpected leak/wearing & tear during the time when the flat is let out?
Should the freeholder NOT make a claim in this case before my friend starts spending and investigation? It could be the cause of the leak has nothing to do with the flat? Will my friend’s cost be refunded?
As EASY said, it is not easy to find the cause. In case if the leak carries on after my friend’s investigation, what’s going to happen?
At the moment, the freeholder is chasing my friend to hire someone to lift up all floors and investigate immediately. He was threatened with lawsuits. There has been no change at all inside of the flat. Is this fair?

Easy
10-06-2008, 15:41 PM
It happened twice in last two months (all within 2-3 days after heavy rains). Does not seem to have anything to do with daily usage of water. There was no leak found inside of the flat neither (excluding all area covered by the laminate floors).

At the moment, the freeholder is chasing my friend to hire someone to lift up all floors and investigate immediately. He was threatened with lawsuits. There has been no change at all inside of the flat. Is this fair?

Whether or not your friend chooses to lift the floor, locating the leak or finding any trace of water will prove just about impossible. I would have thought that the freeholders request/demand was unreasonable, don't do it, especially as you say, it only happens after heavy rains. Suggest to the freeholder he hires a surveyor to look at the problem. That would show your friend is cooperating at least. Really the water could be coming from anywhere.

Mandy2007
10-06-2008, 16:01 PM
That's right! Freeholders can not just do whatever they want to do!
I’m with you, pal.
:)

Whether or not your friend chooses to lift the floor, locating the leak or finding any trace of water will prove just about impossible. I would have thought that the freeholders request/demand was unreasonable, don't do it, especially as you say, it only happens after heavy rains. Suggest to the freeholder he hires a surveyor to look at the problem. That would show your friend is cooperating at least. Really the water could be coming from anywhere.

rajeshk4u
10-06-2008, 22:07 PM
You need to get your friend nneds to work with the shopkeeper to locate the root cause of the water leak. The aim issue should be to to find the "source" of the leak rather then finding excuses not to trace the water leak.

If the leak was from your friends plumbing, he might end up bring liable for the shop's takings aswell, if he/she had to close business to replace ceilings etc... so better sort it whilst the ceiling is still intact.

The majority of water leaks happen either in the kitchen or bathroom, so this is the first place to start the investigation. You say he has laminate flooring, so it is unlikely to be fitted in the kitchen or bathroom as laminate flooring is not waterproof.

Your friend might not have the cash, but he can do some of the investigation himself such as removing the bathpanel and check for leaks and also check behind machine machine and sink. Also work out the the route of water and waste pipes. Also, check for old disused water tanks in lofts etc...

Also, you say it could be the roof, are you certain?. As your friend is on the upper floor, would it not leak into his flat first? Or are there additions to the property?.

If it is the roof, then the Freeholder is responsible for repairs to the fabric of the building and also on communal areas (assuming there are any).

Normally, the Freeholder would insure the entire building, but I can understand for small jobs, it is not worth claiming on the insurance as the premiums will got up (exceeding the actual amount of the original claim :-()

I would not waste money on surveyors. They will tell your the obvious, remove the laminate flooring and lift up the floorboards, so it will end up costing your friend money.

The main thing is co-operation between both parties....

Mandy2007
12-06-2008, 19:53 PM
How about content insurance, would that cover potential costs spend during the investigation(eg refit the laminate floor)? I was told both of kitchen and bathroom are fitted with laminate floor and there was no water marks.



You need to get your friend nneds to work with the shopkeeper to locate the root cause of the water leak. The aim issue should be to to find the "source" of the leak rather then finding excuses not to trace the water leak.

If the leak was from your friends plumbing, he might end up bring liable for the shop's takings aswell, if he/she had to close business to replace ceilings etc... so better sort it whilst the ceiling is still intact.

The majority of water leaks happen either in the kitchen or bathroom, so this is the first place to start the investigation. You say he has laminate flooring, so it is unlikely to be fitted in the kitchen or bathroom as laminate flooring is not waterproof.

Your friend might not have the cash, but he can do some of the investigation himself such as removing the bathpanel and check for leaks and also check behind machine machine and sink. Also work out the the route of water and waste pipes. Also, check for old disused water tanks in lofts etc...

Also, you say it could be the roof, are you certain?. As your friend is on the upper floor, would it not leak into his flat first? Or are there additions to the property?.

If it is the roof, then the Freeholder is responsible for repairs to the fabric of the building and also on communal areas (assuming there are any).

Normally, the Freeholder would insure the entire building, but I can understand for small jobs, it is not worth claiming on the insurance as the premiums will got up (exceeding the actual amount of the original claim :-()

I would not waste money on surveyors. They will tell your the obvious, remove the laminate flooring and lift up the floorboards, so it will end up costing your friend money.

The main thing is co-operation between both parties....

rajeshk4u
13-06-2008, 03:31 AM
How about content insurance, would that cover potential costs spend during the investigation(eg refit the laminate floor)? I was told both of kitchen and bathroom are fitted with laminate floor and there was no water marks.

Well, if there is a water leak underneath the kitchen, the water will flow "down" and not up, so your friend will never see any water marks on the laminate floor. Water will not rise "upwards"....

Mandy2007
13-06-2008, 08:26 AM
That's possible. But why the leak is not there everyday? Twice in two months?
I don't think any of the lease holders has any information about the structure/layout of water pipes in the building. :confused:


Well, if there is a water leak underneath the kitchen, the water will flow "down" and not up, so your friend will never see any water marks on the laminate floor. Water will not rise "upwards"....